Lady 'Dogs win a thriller

Lady 'Dogs win a thriller


Lady 'Dogs win a thriller



It was a pitcher’s duel until Kelsey Russell provided the scoring punch in the 10th inning.

The Smyrna center fielder hit a two-run home run in the top of the 10th to boost the Lady Bulldogs to a 2-0 victory over Maryville on Tuesday at Starplex in the first round of the TSSAA BlueCross Spring Fling Class AAA state softball tournament.

Smyrna’s Makenzie Prince struck out 13 Maryville batters and didn’t allow a hit through the first 6 2/3 innings. The Lady Rebels were able to get two batters on base due to errors, but were stranded. They finished the game with only two hits.

Maryville pitcher Maddie Ogle also had a strong effort, striking out eight Smyrna batters. The Lady Bulldogs had five hits in the game, but only managed to get one runner in scoring position in the first nine innings.

“She’s a really good pitcher,” Smyrna coach Luke Sheppard said. “She moved the ball around. She moved it in, she moved it out. I think it was a really great battle of the pitchers there.”

In the 10th, due to the international tie-breaker rules, Smyrna started the inning with Kaitlin Crumpler already on second. Russell led off the inning with a two-run shot to center field. Maryville center fielder Sara Beth Reeves fell over the fence trying to catch the ball.

“That was absolutely amazing,” said Sheppard. “Kelsey’s one of those players that swings the bat, and hits it hard nine times out of 10. She’s really been swinging the bat well the last half of the season. What a huge way to step up and help your team out.”

It was the first home run of the season for Russell.

“I was trying to keep my mind on the ball, and I wanted to step up and hit the ball and get the runner in,” said Russell.

The Lady Bulldogs defeated Soddy-Daisy on Monday night to make it to the Spring Fling, then played Maryville less than 24 hours later.

“It was a quick turnaround, but the pace of this season for us, it’s always been back-to-back for us,” said Sheppard. “We’re used to playing a game, and then turning around and playing the next day. Especially in tournament ball, you play a Friday night and then go right in Saturday playing again.”

Maryville dropped to the loser’s bracket. The Lady Rebels will play at 10 this morning.

“Their pitcher pitched a great game,” said Maryville coach David Allen. “If you don’t score you don’t ever win.”

Smyrna 000 000 000 2 — 2 5 2

Maryville 000 000 000 0 — 0 2 1

Makenzie Prince and Ray Allen. Maddie Ogle and Haley Hilliard. WP – Prince. LP – Ogle.


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