It’s starting to look as if this year’s 13th Region Tournament could be one of the best in history.
Two of the top contenders, Clay County and Harlan County, squared off Thursday in Manchester in a game that lived up to the hype.
Clay County, ranked second in the region, edged third-ranked Harlan County 1-0 on a homer by Kashia Jackson in the sixth inning.
Brianda Owens won the pitchers’ duel as she tossed a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
Destinee Jenkins was the hard-luck loser as she gave up only three hits while also striking out 10.
“(Owens) pitched a good game, kept us off balance,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “Destinee pitched a great game for us. Both defenses played well. They are a good team.”
Kacie Russell had a single in the second inning and Jenkins doubled in the fourth for Harlan County’s only hits.
Emma Hurd added a double in the sixth inning for Clay County (13-1). Owens had a single in the third inning.
“Our bunting wasn’t very good. That’s the only disappointment I can come up with,” McElyea said. “I can’t wait to play them again. It was a great game.”
Harlan County (13-3) returns to action Saturday in the Billy Joe Idol Memorial Tournament at Middlesboro. The Lady Bears will play Lee, Va., at 10 a.m., Williamsburg at 2 p.m. and Middlesboro at 4 p.m.
Harlan County* 000* 000* 0* — 0 2 1
Clay County* 000* 001* 0* — 1 3 1
Jenkins and King; Owens and Smith. WP — Owens. LP — Jenkins (10-2).