STRONG OUTING: Carroll County’s Kayla Williamson (above, left) and Cheyenne Lawrence celebrate the Panthers’ 2-1 win over Walton-Verona Tuesday. Lawrence, running for pitcher Sara Hawkins after Hawkins had doubled earlier in the inning, scored the winning run on a hit by Brittany Yocum. Hawkins (below) fires a pitch toward the plate. She worked all seven innings and struck out 10 in the win. (Staff photo by David Hill/sports@madisoncourier.com)
STRONG OUTING: Carroll County’s Kayla Williamson (above, left) and Cheyenne Lawrence celebrate the Panthers’ 2-1 win over Walton-Verona Tuesday. Lawrence, running for pitcher Sara Hawkins after Hawkins had doubled earlier in the inning, scored the winning run on a hit by Brittany Yocum. Hawkins (below) fires a pitch toward the plate. She worked all seven innings and struck out 10 in the win. (Staff photo by David Hill/sports@madisoncourier.com)
Carroll County pitcher Sara Hawkins pitched seven strong innings of 1-1 softball and then started her team's game-winning rally in the bottom of the seventh with a double to center field en route to a 2-1 win over Walton-Verona Tuesday in Carrollton.

The game was Carroll's season opener after the Panthers were rained out the day before while the Bearcats fell to 1-1.

"We needed this one to start out the season," said Carroll coach Dennis Hawkins, the father of Sara Hawkins. "This was a team effort all the way. Our defense made strong plays the entire game and our bats in the bottom of the lineup came through at the right time."

Carroll County's winning rally in the seventh inning began when Hawkins lined a one-out double off the center field fence. Hawkins was replaced on the bases by pinch runner Cheyenne Lawrence but Jenna Roberts fanned for the second out. That set the stage for Brittany Yocum's single down the first base line to score Lawrence with the game winner.

The Panthers were also first to score in the contest. Mackenzie Ogden opened Carroll's first with a double and scored on a wild pitch by Bearcats' pitcher Hannah Thacker.

Walton-Verona tied the score in the top of the fourth inning and had an opportunity to take the lead.

Julann Ginn walked to lead off and advanced to third on a double by Thacker. A base hit by Abby Wassem scored Ginn to tie the game 1-1 but Hawkins was able to get out of the one-out jam when Wassem was caught stealing at second. Thacker, who was on third, didn't attempt to score on the throw and Brooklyn Young struck out to end the threat.

Walton-Verona got a one-out single from Caroline Rouse in the seventh inning, but she was caught stealing for the second putout of the game by Panther catcher Mackenzi Hawkins.

Sara Hawkins struck out 10 batters, walked two and gave up four hits in picking up the win. Thacker also struck out 10 while walking one, hitting a batter and giving up five hits in the loss.

Coach Hawkins was proud of his daughter's overall performance on the afternoon. "That was some hit she got," he said. "I thought the movement on her pitches was very well. I don't think (Walton-Verona) was used to that type movement."

Carroll County now heads to the Uncle Pete Noll Invitational in Northern Kentucky. The Panthers' open play at Softball City in Taylor Mill with Bishop Brossart at 7:45 p.m. Friday and Lloyd Memorial at 10:15 a.m. Saturday.

Lady Raider netters fall to Oldham County 4-1

Trimble County's girls tennis team dropped a 4-1 decision to Oldham County on Tuesday in Bedford.

The Raiders lone win came by Alex Lawhorn over Oldham County's Anna Haas in singles play. Bailey Hill defeated Trimble's Elisabeth Moore 6-1, 6-0, and Aspen Jarrett beat Trimble's Ciarra Harmon 6-0, 6-0 in the other singles matches.

Trimble's Kalee Cook and Micah Hess fell to Kamber Heil and Claire Daugherty 6-2, 6-1 in the other contested match.

Trimble County's boys tennis will face the Colonels Thursday night while the Lady Raiders will be back in action Friday when Western Hills visits Bedford.

Schirmer's 300 hurdles win lone victory for Carroll

Carroll County's boys and girls track and field team were in action Tuesday at Henry County with Taylor Schirmer nosing out first place in the 300-meter hurdles for the Panthers lone win of the day.

Competing on a windy and chilly evening against host Henry County as well as Trimble County, Owen County and North Oldham, the Carroll boys placed fourth our of four teams while the girls were fifth out of five.

The Panthers were hindered by a couple of rough starts in which senior Nora Fremin and junior Michael Burns both took pretty nasty falls - Fremon's in the 100 dash and BUrns' during his leg of the 4x100 meter relay.

Still, Carroll bounced back with several strong performances and a frew personal bests including a third place finish by junior Tre Burgin, who topped 8 feet in the pole vault for the first time in his caree.

Schirmer's win in the 300 hurdles came when he out-leaned Trimble County's Connor Ball at the finish for a new personal best in that event and sophomore Ashley Srouder finised second in both the shot put and discus on the girls side.

No results were available on Trimble County.

Carroll will be back in action Saturday at Walton-Verona.