Aubrey Batts

Oldham County freshman Aubrey Batts celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the Lady Colonels' 14-7 win over Boyle County on March 14.

Oldham County overcame a slow start to beat Boyle County 14-7 to earn new head coach Chris Lashley his first win on March 14 in Buckner.

“I’m so proud of the girls that came out here and busted their butts,” Lashley said. “They got down early – they did that in their first two preseason games too – and they came right back out and hit it great.”

Boyle County pitcher Peyton Guerrant stifled the Lady Colonels the first time through the order, allowing just one hit, and the Lady Rebels took a 3-0 lead by the middle of the third inning.

But once the OCHS lineup turned over, the Lady Colonels’ bats rolled.

Oldham County put up six runs with two outs in the bottom of the third, capped by an opposite field home run by Aubrey Batts, to take a 6-3 advantage.

“I know this team is going to hit the ball eventually because they put the work in. Once they get to where they’re more confident and keep believing in themselves, the sky is going to be the limit,” Lashley said. “They love being around each other, they compete and they pick each other up all the time.”

The team’s joy playing together is apparent.

Batts was greeted by her teammates at home plate following the home run, and they placed the squad’s new “home run chain” around the freshman’s neck. 

The bling, a large plastic chain with an “OC” logo nearly the size of Batts’ torso dangling at the bottom, is a new tradition in the program and an example of the team’s light-natured view on the game.

“That’s a new thing – it came out yesterday,” Batts said of the chain. “It’s just a big celebration for our team so we can all have each other’s backs when we hit a home run.”

Oldham County kept the two-out hitting party rolling in the fourth inning. Guerrant retired the first two batters of the frame before seven straight Lady Colonels reached and six scored to help Oldham County stretch its lead to 12-3.

“I just told them to get in there, be patient, see your pitch and hit it,” Lashley said. “I’ve got confidence in them hitting the ball at any time in the game.”

The Lady Colonels flirted with putting the game away early with a 10-run rule the next couple innings but couldn’t push across the would-be final runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Oldham County’s two through five hitters went 9-for-15 with nine RBIs and nine runs on the night, led by Batts in the five hole with a 3-for-4, four-RBI, two-run night.

“I was just trying to be there for my team. I struck out my first at bat, and I wasn’t going to let that affect the rest of my game,” Batts said. “I just went through with the plan of putting the ball in play.”

All three of Oldham County’s pitchers – senior Caroline Stetson, junior Katie Ladow and sophomore Jozie Lashley – logged at least two innings in the win, a point of emphasis early this season for a team that graduated nearly all of its innings in the circle from a year ago.

“That’s why we set up the schedule like this. We know we’re playing good opponents,” Chris Lashley said. “We’re just trying to get them experience for the end of the year.”

The victory over Boyle County – which won the 12th Region last year – is a significant confidence boost for a Lady Colonels team that enters the year with several first-year starters.

“This is huge. They all pull for each other, they all have each other’s back. That’s what we’re trying to do,” Lashley said. “We’re trying to ride this roller coaster right here and keep getting more and more experience so we can keep growing as a team.”

Oldham County will play six straight road games in the next two weeks before returning home to host Bullitt East on March 27.