Fast Pitch Highlights: April 25, 2023

Fast Pitch Highlights: April 25, 2023

James Collier

Ashland Beacon





Ashland went 1-1 this week with a win over Fairview and a loss to Boyd County.

Ashland fell to Boyd County, 11-1 in six innings. Erin Patrick had the lone Kittens hit. Jada Erwin drove her in.

Erwin tossed a three hitter and struck out six to defeat Fairview, 10-0 in five. Grace Delaney went 3 for 3 with a triple. Jenna Delaney went 2 for 2 with two doubles and 3RBI. Addi Laine doubled. Erwin singled and drove in three.

Ashland welcomes Boyd County Tuesday, visits Bath County Thursday and welcomes Fleming County Friday.


Boyd County went 2-1 this week with wins over Ashland and Russell and a loss to Greenup County.

Boyd County defeated Ashland, 11-1 in six innings. Kylie Thompson tossed a one hitter in the win. Jaycie Goad went 3 for 4 with a double. Myla Hamilton and Sara Bays homered.

Boyd County outlasted Russell, 14-13 in a slugfest. Kyli Kouns went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Bays homered and drove in a pair. Savanna Henderson and Goad also homered and both drove in four.

Boyd County fell to Greenup County, 11-5. Goad went 3 for 3 with a triple. Makenna Mulhearn, Kouns and Henderson doubled.

Boyd County welcomes Fairview Monday, visits Ashland Tuesday and welcomes East Carter Thursday.


Fairview went 1-2 this week with a win over Grace Christian and losses to Lewis County (15-0) and Ashland.

Fairview was held to only three hits in a 10-0 loss to Ashland. Kailyn Adkins, Annabelle Menshouse and Marista Tackett singled.

Fairview bounced back with a 14-3 win over Grace Christian in five innings. Carole Shannon went 4 for 4 with a triple and 3RBI. Zoe Grant, Shelby Gibson, Tackett and Menshouse had a pair of hits. Gibson doubled and drove in three. Menshouse had 2RBI.

Fairview visits Boyd County Monday, Menifee County Wednesday, Cross Lanes Christian Thursday and has a twin bill with Tolsia, WV Saturday.





Raceland went 0-2 this week with district losses to Lewis County and Greenup County.

Raceland fell to Lewis County, 5-3. The Rams tallied six hits against Emily Cole led by a two-hit outing by Davanna Grubb. She homered and drove in two.

Raceland fell to Greenup County 14-8. Kali Vance homered and doubled in the loss. Kaitlin Kartchner and Reagan Mackie tripled. Bryna Wellman and Grubb doubled.

Raceland visits Huntington Tuesday and meets Highlands Latin in their first game of the All “A” State Tournament Saturday in Owensboro.


Russell went 1-2 this week with a win over West Carter and losses to Fairland and Boyd County.

Audrey Patel tossed a complete game and struck out 18 to lead Russell to an 11-2 win over West Carter. Carynn Ratliff went 3 for 4. Raegan Osborn, Paige Hutchinson and Haylee Thorsbury had a pair of hits. Thornsbury homered twice and drove in three. Osborn tripled and Hutchinson doubled.

Russell came up short, 6-5 to Fairland. Patel paced the Devils with a double and 2RBI. Carynn Ratliff had two doubles.

Russell fell to Boyd County, 14-13. No stats were reported.

Russell welcomes Greenup County Monday, visits Coal Grove Tuesday, Rock Hill Thursday, Lewis County Friday and Madison Central Saturday.


Greenup County went 2-1 this week with wins over Raceland and Boyd County and a loss to Lewis County.

Greenup County fell 10-5 to Lewis County. Kaylie Lawrence worked 5 1/3 innings of relief while giving up only one earned run and struck out seven. She also led the Musketeers at the plate with two solo homers. Skyler Lawrence and Kamrin Chapman also homered.

Kaylie Lawrence also worked 5 1/3 innings of relief against Raceland to earn the win, 14-8. Lawrence again allowed only one earned run. Maddy Steele went 3 for 5 with a double and 3RBI. Kennedy McCoy went 3 for 4 with 2RBI. Skyler Lawrence homered and doubled. Rilee Dillow and Kaylie Lawrence also homered.

Greenup County defeated Boyd County, 11-5. Josey Kegley worked 5 1/3 innings of shutout softball while allowing only four hits. Kegley and Kaylie Lawrence homered. Lawrence also doubled and drove in four. Chapman went 3 for 4 with two doubles.

Greenup County visits Russell Monday and welcomes Lewis County Thursday.

Boyd County Middle School Band Receives Distinguished Rating

Boyd County Middle School Band Receives Distinguished Rating

Kathy Clayton

The Ashland Beacon


kathy band article

“I headed home a happy band director,” Guy Molinary declared on his Facebook page Friday. “And what’s even better is they represented BCMS in a very mature and professional manner all day. It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!”

Molinary, director of the Boyd County Middle School Band, was expressing his delight in the band’s performance at the Kentucky Music Educators Association spring assessment event. The band received Distinguished Ratings from all three judges. The event was held at Morehead State University.

Parents in attendance noted that families from other schools in the area seemed very impressed with the BCMS band’s performance, and many were talking about how good they were.

The band will perform its annual spring concert Thursday, May 4, at the Paramount Arts Center.

Local Author Launches Book at Broadway Books

Local Author Launches Book at Broadway Books

By Pamela Hall

The Ashland Beacon

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Broadway Books, located at 1537 Winchester Avenue, has quickly become a favorite retail business for many people in Ashland. For those who love books, reading, and any kind of literature, it is a place to get the latest bestseller or even sit and read while enjoying a pastry. And if a gift item or toy is needing to be purchased, the store has a wide selection to offer. However, Broadway Books is a favorite place for local authors as well, due to the many book signing events they host.

One such book signing event is happening on Saturday, April 29 from 2 – 4 p.m. It will feature local author Maria Patrick and her new book, Nothing Left to Lose But You. The event is also a book launch, as the book release date is April 25.

Maria Patrick is from Catlettsburg, where she lives with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

“I’ve always loved to write and written just for fun,” Maria said, “but writing this book was when I got serious about it.”

Maria started writing the book in September, and it only took her about two months to write it. That in itself is an incredible feat. The book is considered to be contemporary fiction with some romance included.

Nothing Left to Lose But You tells the story of Noah, who suddenly has custody of her niece due to her brother’s incarceration. Noah has a dream job and home but has no idea how to be a parent to the little girl. She meets Logan through his daughter who has become friends with her niece, and they begin to plan play dates for the girls.

Logan is a single father who is mourning the loss of his wife and adjusting to raising his daughter alone. He moves from California to Kentucky but has difficulty in trying to find a job to support them. When Noah finds out that he is being evicted, she offers to let him move into her home in exchange for parenting lessons.

“There are some sensitive topics that are addressed in the book,” Maria warned, “such as addiction, death of a loved one, and abuse, but I think you’ll love the funny banter and slow burn between the characters.”

“We are excited to host the book launch and book signing for Maria Patrick,” said Jill Donta, co-owner of Broadway Books. “We enjoy being able to show our support for local authors.”

Nothing Left to Lose But You is available on Amazon in paperback. The ebook edition will be available on April 25 and will be part of the Kindle Unlimited program. You can also visit Maria’s website,, or follow Maria Patrick Writes on Facebook.

Don’t miss the launch party and book signing for Nothing Left to Lose But You at Broadway Books on Saturday, April 29 from 2 – 4 p.m. Get your signed copy, and show support for local authors.


Hand Crafted Weekend Showcases Skills from Near and Far

Hand Crafted Weekend Showcases Skills from Near and Far

Kathy Clayton

The Ashland Beacon

kathy craft show article

                Appalachia, including our corner of Eastern Kentucky, has long been known for the amazing work of our artisans in many different media. The Hand Crafted Weekend, held April 15-16, in the Jesse Stuart Lodge at Greenbo Lake State Park, showcased many of these cultural works.

                Artisans from around northeast Kentucky sold their wares and demonstrated their art as members of the community strolled through the exhibits. Visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite quilt, and there were several “make and take” crafts for children to try.

                “We wanted to focus on the craftsman demonstrating his skill, so this event is different from a vendor fair where they would be mainly selling their items,” said Anne Stephens, Community Arts agent with the Greenup County Extension Office. “We wanted people to experience the process of artistic creation. It’s not often that you get to see that process, and this is a really special event because of that.”

                She said this year was the first Hand Crafted Weekend, but that it had grown out of the Greenup County Quilt Guild’s annual quilt show. “That event was postponed during the Covid years, so we took the opportunity to include even more handcrafted items.”

                Two alpacas greeted the public as they entered the lodge, as their owner, Kevin Toney, sat at a loom, weaving strands of wool made from their fur into a poncho. Toney is owner of Silver Run Ranch Alpacas in Catlettsburg.

                Further inside the great room lobby of the lodge, John Ryster of Carter County concentrated on carving a horse head scroll at the top of a fiddle, specially ordered by a customer. “My fiddles are getting to be known for their oddity, like this horse head. I like to carve different things in them.” Ryster explained that he prefers to use native wood such as red maple, spruce or cherry.

                “People have been building fiddles here for a long time,” he said. “We’re always looking for more native woods to use for our fiddles.”

                A pottery wheel was set up in one corner, where Jessica Evans of the University of Kentucky Arts Extension office worked on a vase as onlookers watched her skilled hands smooth and form the clay. A table set up by Jill Robertson of Appalachia’s Daughter in Hindman, KY, displayed jewelry made from stones and recycled copper and silver. “Each of these pieces is individual and unique,” she said. “And, we can do custom pieces.”

                Other artisans demonstrated basketweaving, knitting and crocheting, wood carving, and cross stitch. And of course, the beautiful hand-made quilts drew many attendees to the basement area, where they were hung on display racks for viewing.

                “We have about 73 quilts hanging for display and at least 70 smaller quilted items displayed on tables,” said Barb Rister of the Greenup County Quilt Guild.  Rister was handing out forms that people could vote for their favorite quilt. There were also forms handed out by the extension office. Visitors could fill out their favorite part of the day’s activities, then turn it in for a drawing for a gift basket.

                “We’re really pleased with the turn out so far,” said Stephens. “We hope this helps showcase the immense talent we have in this area, and we hope to do it again. We thought that Greenbo would be a great place for this. People could come out, eat at the delicious buffet, and browse through all the crafts on display.”

                For more information on local artisans, visit the Greenup Arts Facebook page.

Megan Crockrel Promotes a Season of Self-Love and Wellness with New Journal

Megan Crockrel Promotes a Season of Self-Love and Wellness with New Journal

By:  Sonya Newman

The Ashland Beacon


With every season comes transformation and growth.  We see it in the change of weather and we see it as we age. We see it in the lives of our children, we see it in our careers, and we see it in our life path.  Sometimes a major change can happen in a brief period of 90 days. That’s a season.  Sometimes, we get so caught up in all the seasons of our lives, that we neglect taking a season for self-care. 

No one better understands the need for self-care better than a mother of two, who has worked in urgent care, who consistently and selflessly gives her time to care for others.  Meet Megan Crockrel, author of the recently released, ‘Sis, It’s You!’.  This journal is designed to promote a season of self-love and wellness. Its purpose is to encourage women to make choices that would restore and care for themselves. 

“Women are literally superheroes,” Crockrel stated, “We usually put everyone and everything in front of our own needs.” It’s often thought by many that it’s selfish to place such a high emphasis on self, but she concludes, “It’s not selfish.  Honestly, if we are not okay, the people around us won’t be okay.”

Her inspiration is every woman— younger and older, no matter her circumstances, no matter her struggles, and no matter her situation. The woman who doesn’t realize her own internal and external beauty, who battles brokenness, depression, pain, and anxiety, or who just may need help finding a way to love herself again.  “I was HER!” Crockrel admitted, “Through my three-month process of journaling, I learned so much about myself. I grew in places that I didn’t realize I needed growth. I walked by mirrors and said, ‘You are so beautiful’ and truly meant it.” She was truly amazed by her transformation from the beginning of the journal to the end, where much-needed change had grown within her, as if she could see herself the way God sees her. 

When you find yourself transformed, you want to tell everyone, and that sharing process is in the hope that other lives will be transformed as well.  Megan makes each journal, makes the covers, prints the pages from her very own design, and binds them, as well.  She even makes the notepads and the envelopes that come with the journal.  “The process of putting my journal together was God,” she recalled, adding “I remember sitting down for hours, days, and months working on the journal; as simple as it sounds, it was actually pretty hard (with) lots of trial and error.” 

Christ Temple Church in Ashland, where Megan’s brother District Elder J.D. Crockrel is the Pastor, hosted the launch earlier in the month.  “It was like being home surrounded by family,” she shared, “In that building, I knew I would have support, comfort, and love. I wouldn’t want to have it anywhere else.” The launch went really well, and she recounts an unforgettable moment when she was embraced by a teenage girl who’d attended.  “Her genuine smile was permanently plastered on her face as I spoke about my journals,” Crockrel remembered, “her dad approached me and said, ‘You’ll never know what you’ve done for us today.’”

“The eagerness of young girls to hurry and open their journal to get started was a feeling that I can’t even explain,” said Crockrel of what she experienced from her point of view at the launch.  Her labor of love continues to prepare a season for others, but when asked how, she simply stated, “I literally let go, and let God lead me.”