Carroll County softball 2019 All "A" Classic Eighth Region championship team. (Submitted photo)
Carroll County softball 2019 All "A" Classic Eighth Region championship team. (Submitted photo)
Carroll County softball rolled over Williamstown 12-6 to claim its first-ever All “A” Classic Eighth Region championship on Thursday at Williamstown.

The Panthers did most of their damage in the late innings. After going ahead 1-0 in the second on a Jordan Ray RBI double, Carroll scored three runs in the fourth on a two-run RBI by Jordyn Shepherd and an RBI single by Bailey Mefford.

Carroll added a run in the fifth when Ray again struck with an RBI single and the Panthers went ahead 9-0 with four runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Allie Beach and Hailey Austin, a sacrifice fly from Andrea Searcy and a bases-loaded walk.

Williamstown finally broke up the shutout with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but Carroll answered with three more in the seventh on an RBI double by Searcy and a run-scoring groundout by Austin.

Williamstown got three more runs in the seventh to close the gap to six but got no closer.

Carroll County out-hit Williamstown 14-6 and would have shut out the Demons if not for errors. None of the Demons’ six runs against Searcy were earned thanks to three crucial miscues.

Searcy struck out 13 batters and walked three in another strong performance by the Carroll ace.

Ray and Mefford each went 4-for-4 at the plate with Ray collecting a double, a run scored and an RBI, and Mefford getting an RBI and two runs scored. Austin was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs and Mallory Besselman had two hits and scored twice.

The Panthers rode Searcy’s hot bat and strong arm into the championship game with a 9-2 win over Walton-Verona on Wednesday.

Searcy went 3-for-4 with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored and also struck out 13 batters with just one walk while allowing one earned run on seven hits in seven innings.

The Panthers got all of their runs in three different innings and each rally was started by Mefford.

Mefford led off the first inning with a double and scored on Beach’s double. Searcy and Austin added back-to-back RBI singles and Ray had an RBI groundout to put Carroll ahead 4-0.

The Panthers struck again in the fourth when Mefford was hit by a pitch and scored on an error off the bat of Beach, who also scored on the same play.

After Walton scored two runs in the top of the sixth, Carroll got three more runs in the bottom half when Mef

Searcy, Mefford, Ray and Allie Beach were all named to the all-tournament team for Carroll.

Carroll (9-0) will play the Seventh Region champion in the first game of pool play at the state finals on Saturday, April 27 at Jack Fisher Park in Owensboro, Kentucky. The tourney moves to trophy play on April 29.

In the meantime, the Panthers still have regular-season games to play. The Panthers visit Campbell County on Saturday.