GRAYSON "That kid's got some WHEELS!" the home-plate umpire mused aloud to no one in particular Tuesday night after Stan Spence's Kaylin Pollock turned a strikeout into three bases.
It was indicative of Stan Spence's performance in the Little League All-Stars 12U softball state tournament at Grayson Sports Park.
The girls from South Shore only got two hits off Fleming County's Dee Riggs, but Stan Spence took advantage of just about every opportunity it had to get on base in a 6-2 victory in an all-northeastern Kentucky meeting in the elimination round at State.
"I've always told them from the beginning that everybody has a job to do," Stan Spence manager Joshia Grayson said, "and that's what we've always led off of. Everybody does their jobs, and it'll all be OK."
Stan Spence scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning after conceding one in the top half -- and did it on only one base knock.
Leadoff hitter Hailey Dillow walked and stole second base. Pollock, the No. 2 batter, fanned swinging, but strike three got away from the Fleming County catcher. Compounding issues, her throw down to first was wild. Dillow scored and Pollock didn't stop running until she got to third.
"They're an excellent team," Fleming County skipper Tom Caskey said of Stan Spence. "Well-coached. They're aggressive, and that's what it takes to get where you're at here."
Kylie Wood added an RBI single and two more Stan Spence runs came home on a two-out outfield error.
After that, Riggs settled in to retire 11 consecutive Stan Spence hitters. But Fleming County couldn't do much to cut into its three-run deficit because Stan Spence hurler Bailey Potter was about as brilliant.
Fleming County got to Potter for a run in the top of the first with consecutive two-out hits. Riggs tripled and came home on Maggie McGlone's RBI bloop single. But Fleming County got no more until the fifth frame, when Trinity Flora beat the throw home on Emma Black's fielder's choice.
Potter rang up 13 strikeouts. She punched out the side in the sixth inning to end the game, and she concluded five of Fleming County's six frames with Ks.
"She always does really good," Grayson said of Potter. "She's one of the leaders on our team. She always tries to do her best for everybody else on the team."
Stan Spence got some insurance in the bottom of the fifth when Charleigh Grayson laced an RBI single to left and Wood chipped in a run-scoring groundout.
Tuesday's game was a rematch of the District 6 Tournament final on June 24, which Stan Spence won, 9-3.
"Fleming has gotten a lot better," Joshia Grayson said, "and our girls have gotten a lot better too."
Riggs registered 10 strikeouts for Fleming County. She also had two extra-base hits in a 2-for-3 night.
"The girls played together. That's all I can ask for," Caskey said. "So proud of them all. Been several years since Fleming County's been this far. Really proud of these ladies. Thank the good Lord for giving us this opportunity."
Stan Spence collected five walks -- three of them in the first inning -- and swiped four bases. Wood produced two RBIs.
Stan Spence is scheduled to meet North Oldham in another elimination game tonight. North Oldham knocked off Letcher County, 2-1, earlier Tuesday.
Riggs delivered her first pitch at 9:36 p.m. after field conditions from a day and a week of intermittent rain pushed back the proceedings. Potter fanned her final hitter at 11:20 p.m.
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FLEMING CO. 100 010 -- 2 5 3
S. SPENCE 400 02X -- 6 2 0
Riggs and Caskey; Potter and Dillow. W -- Potter. L -- Riggs. 2B -- Riggs (FC). 3B -- Riggs (FC).