East Jessamine coach Tom Hamm is good at working out of difficult situations. In 2011, Hamm took the role of interim head coach with just a few weeks left in the regular season and led the Lady Jags to the state tournament.
This season, the Lady Jaguars got off to a rough start, going .500 (4-4) before spring break. A trip to South Carolina for five games didn’t help East as it was swept and outscored 51-14. East continued to struggle back in Kentucky, dropping seven of its next 10 games.
On April 26, with one month remaining in the regular season, East Jessamine’s record stood at 7-16.
Overnight, East began to turn its season around. They beat South Laurel 4-2 on April 27 and rattled off eight straight wins to bring their record to 15-16 on May 12. The Lady Jags reached .500 with an 8-6 win over Mercer County on May 17. The win helped them to a No. 2 seed in the district tournament.
“Earlier in the year, they were just having errors, but they’re starting to come together a little bit,” Hamm said May 8. “Since that last West game (April 17), we’ve won eight out of our last 10 games. They had a little fire under them after they lost to West — they weren’t happy.”
In the first round, East beat rival West Jessamine 10-0 in six innings to advance to the district championship and earn a spot in the region tournament.
East lost to Mercer 5-2 in the district championship and lost a closely contested 4-3 game to Boyle in the first round of the region.
The Lady Jaguars ended with an 18-20 record (11-6 region, 4-3 district) — fifth best in the region.
“We had some growing pains ... but they’ve just really turned it around,” Hamm said during the district tournament.