MURFREESBORO – Defending AAA champ Dickson County won a 10-inning contest earlier Wednesday at the state softball tourney.
The Lady Cougars’ second contest of the evening was also a marathon, lasting nine innings. This time, Dickson County was on the losing end, falling into the losers’ bracket with a 3-2 loss to Ooltewah.
Neither team scored until both scratched two runs in the sixth. Selena Crafton earned the first run of the game, stealing her way across home plate for Dickson County in the top of the inning. Brooklin Lee added a second run with a double that sent Ashley Scott home.
The game remained 2-2 until the ninth when Auburn Collake hit an RBI-single to win it for Ooltewah.
Dickson County slips to the losers’ bracket and plays at 10 a.m. Thursday while Ooltewah plays the winners’ bracket finals at 5:30 p.m.
“We just couldn’t handle her (Kayla Boseman) high fastball, and we kept dropping our hands,” Dickson County coach Shane Buchanan said. “We made some mental mistakes that we haven’t made in a while. Give Ooltewah credit they have a great team and a great pitcher and they took it to us.”
– John Bailey, Gannett Tennessee
JPII softball team ends season with loss
MURFREESBORO – The Pope John Paul II High softball team ended its season with a 11-4 loss to Girls Preparatory School in a Division II-Class AA State Tournament contest played on Wednesday evening at the Starplex softball complex.
GPS (16-13) moved on to Thursday evening’s losers bracket final, facing the loser of Thursday afternoon’s game between Baylor and Briarcrest Christian School.
The Bruisers scored the first 11 runs, erupting for six runs in the top of the first.
Freshman Hannah Kincer hit a three-run home run, and senior Haley Richardson’s two-run single drove in two more runs.
Both freshman Haley Smith and eighth-grader Hannah Sanders had two-run doubles in the six-run third, and eighth-graders Kaitlyn Songer and Sydney White also had run-scoring hits in the frame.
The Lady Knights finally scored in the bottom of the third, when sophomore Alexis Williams singled in senior Savannah Burns.
Senior Taylor Williams and freshman Anna Wantz singled in runs as PJP II scored three in the fifth, cutting the lead to 11-4.
Senior Abbey Anderson drew a leadoff walk in the top of the sixth and scored later in the frame, and the first two Lady Knights reached base in the bottom of the sixth. However, heavy rain ended the contest at that point, with the final score reverting back to the last completed inning.
PJP II ended with a 20-10 record.
– Craig Harris, Gannett Tennessee
Forrest reaches winners’ bracket finals
MURFREESBORO – Senior Katie Warrick tossed a four-hitter and drove in four runs, propelling Forrest into the Class A winners bracket final with a 6-1 victory over Sale Creek on Wednesday evening.
Warrick allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Warrick, Briar Mayes, sophomore Laney Mayes and senior Kiyoko Puca all had two hits, and Mayes scored three runs.
Forrest will face Knoxville Grace on Thursday night. Grace reached the winners bracket final with a 7-5 victory over Marion County on Wednesday afternoon.
– Craig Harris, Gannett Tennessee
Davidson Academy eliminates Ezell-Harding
MURFREESBORO – Plenty of runs were scored after Davis Smith’s in the third inning Wednesday, but none had as big an impact.
It was the catalyst for Davidson Academy keeping its season alive with a 9-4 victory against Ezell-Harding in a Division II-A losers’ bracket game Wednesday.
Smith appeared to have been called out after being caught in a rundown between third and home. However, obstruction was called on Ezell-Harding shortstop Alexys Haskins as Smith prepared to round third for home.
“I was thinking, ‘Aw, dang it. Why did I go home when the ball was at the catcher already?’ ” Smith said.
But the call meant Smith remained in play to load the bases. She scored the tying run when Grace Spain was walked in the next at-bat. Madie Woodis followed with the go-ahead RBI-single to put Davidson Academy up for good, 3-2.
“It kind of made Ezell a little shaky in the head and gave us some momentum,” said Smith, who was 4-for-4 with three runs scored from her leadoff spot. “We got a walk, a score, and kept getting runs in.”
The third inning was crucial for Davidson Academy (30-11-1). Savannah Carr had just gotten out of a two-out jam with runners in scoring position in the top half of the inning.
“I’d say it was big,” Ezell-Harding coach Tyler Sadler said of the obstruction call. “I didn’t quite see where the obstruction with the shortstop was, and when they’re able to gain essentially the extra out and then they’re able to capitalize off of that, it was really tough to get back within the flow of the game. But credit to Davidson for taking full advantage of that.”
The Lady Bears pushed the lead to 5-2 by the end of the fifth. Ezell-Harding (25-14) scored two runs in the top of the sixth, but Davidson answered right back with four more runs.
Davidson Academy plays again at 4 p.m. Thursday against the loser of Friendship Christian-King’s Academy in the losers’ bracket finals.
– Corby A. Yarbrough, For Gannett Tennessee
Chattanooga Central blanks Creek Wood
MURFREESBORO – A pair of home runs in the third inning set the stage for Chattanooga Central in a 4-0 win over Creek Wood on Wednesday in the Class AA state softball tournament.
The game was scoreless through the first two innings. In the third, Chattanooga Central’s Samantha Scott hit a rocket over the left field fence to put the Lady Pounders on the board. Teammate Brooke Parrott followed with an inside-the-park home run to make it 2-0.
Chattanooga added two more runs in the fifth.
Creek Wood will play in an 11:30 a.m. losers’ bracket contest.
– John Bailey, Gannett Tennessee
Wilson Central continues hot hitting
MURFREESBORO – Wilson Central continued its hot hitting in the Class AAA state softball tournament Wednesday at the expense of Siegel and ace Veronica Westfall.
Wilson Central defeated Siegel 10-5 and advanced to the winners’ bracket final, where it will play the Dickson County-Ooltewah winner at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Siegel (34-6) plays the Bearden-Houston winner at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in an elimination game.
Wilson Central (39-7-1) tagged Westfall for eight runs, seven earned, in five innings before Cede Loftis relieved her.
“They are having fun right now,” Wilson Central coach Mike Shepard said. “As long as they are doing that and staying loose, we have a chance.
“We saw Veronica earlier in the season and we couldn’t touch her. The girls just believe right now. Siegel is a great team. Even when we were up, you never thought they were out of it because they can hit all throughout their lineup.”
It’s the most runs Westfall has given up this season. The Lady Wildcats scored twice in two innings off Loftis.
– Tom Kreager, Gannett Tennessee
Defending champ Dickson County wins in 10
MURFREESBORO – Defending Class AAA champion Dickson County had to go 10 innings before finally putting Houston away 5-2 on Wednesday.
Makray Odom’s RBI single and an RBI-groundout by Selena Crafton were the big hits in the 10th for Dickson County, which will face Ooltewah at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Houston’s Jenna Cotter struck out six and helped her own cause with an RBI single in the third.
That was all Houston tallied as Dickson County pitcher Brooklin Lee struck out 16, allowing only the two runs.
Dickson County rallied for two in the top of the seventh to send the contest into extra innings.
The Lady Cougars had 12 hits overall to Houston’s five. Keely Buchanan also had an RBI for Dickson County.
– John Bailey, Gannett Tennessee
King’s Academy plates winning run in seventh to top Ezell-Harding
MURFREESBORO – Ezell-Harding rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie it but then allowed King’s Academy to score in the bottom and win 5-4 Wednesday in the Division II-A softball tournament.
The loss dropped Ezell-Harding to the losers’ bracket, where it will face Davidson Academy at 5 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination game.
Bree Sanders ripped a three-run home run to highlight Ezell-Harding’s four-run sixth.
However, King’s Academy plated the winning run in the bottom of the seventh when Katelyn Norris scored on Regan Weekly’s two-out single.
Brittany Edmondson and Jeanna Burnett each had two hits for Ezell-Harding (25-13).
St. Benedict tops Pope John Paul II in DII-AA
MURFREESBORO – Pope John Paul II was looking to win its Division II-Class AA state softball tournament opener against St. Benedict for the second straight year, but the first inning proved to be too much for the Lady Knights to overcome.
St. Benedict scored three runs in the first inning, which was enough for the Lady Eagles to hold on for a 3-2 victory Wednesday morning at Starplex.
Lady Eagle shortstop Lizzie Ryan led off with a home run to right field, followed by Paige Murin’s single up the middle. Murin stole third base and scored on a fielder’s choice from the bat of Bailey Coppedge.
Murin collided with Pope John Paul II senior catcher Savannah Lewis, and Lewis suffered a cut on her right arm that required a seven-minute delay to fix. Lewis re
mained in the game, but the Lady Eagles added a run on a sacrifice bunt from Kendal Pearson shortly thereafter.
“It hurt,” Lewis said of the injury. “They were going to make me to go to the hospital (to receive stitches), but it’s my senior season, and we’ve worked so hard. I didn’t want to come out.”
Pearson started the game in the pitcher’s circle for the Lady Eagles and had a no-hitter in the fifth inning before Lewis broke it up with a one-out single into center field.
“Our bats started coming around in the fifth inning,” PJP II head coach Jody Brothers said. “We finally put pressure on (Pearson), but at the same time, our defense allowed us to keep them off the board after the first inning to give them a chance to get the bats to come back into it.”
Senior Chelsy Stephenson singled in sophomore Olivia Nivision to put the Lady Knights on the board in the fifth, and freshman Anna Wantz’s double in the sixth plated senior Taylor Williams to cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to one run (3-2).
Each team finished with four hits. Ryan had three of the four for St. Benedict, finishing a triple short of the cycle.
The Lady Knights were slated to face Girls’ Preparatory School, who suffered an 11-1 loss to Baylor on Tuesday evening, in an elimination game scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
East Robertson rallies, walks off to stay alive
MURFREESBORO – The East Robertson softball team had a flair for the dramatic Wednesday morning in the Class A State Softball Tournament.
Coming into the bottom of the seventh inning down 2-0, the Lady Indians scored all three of their runs in the final inning to defeat Union City 3-2 and stay alive in the tourney.
“This bunch is just relentless,” East Robertson coach Kevin Evans said. “It would have been easy to be down there in the last inning because we’re so young and things hadn’t gone our way today.
‘Many times today we were our own worst enemy, but when it counted today the girls came through and that’s all that matters.”
The win keeps East Robertson alive in the losers’ bracket. It will play Thursday at 10 a.m. against the loser of Forrest and Adamsville.
Val Seay picked up the win, striking out 11 Lady Tornados. She didn’t allow a runner past second after the first inning.
Union City scored both of its runs in the first inning and the score stayed 2-0 into the bottom of the seventh.
East Robertson’s Gabby Zizzi singled to left with one out followed by Seay, who reached on a walk with two outs.
Lexi Young’s double down the left field line brought home the first run to make it 2-1.
Phillips stepped to the plate and got two early strikes before fouling four pitches off, then knocked a shot just outside the right field line.
That drove home two runs to end the contest, allowing East Robertson to advance.
“Before I ever got up there I was praying,” Phillips said. “Coach (Evans) told me to relax and hit the ball and reminded me we didn’t need a homerun to try and calm me down I guess.
“I thought it won it when I hit that one to right field, but when I hit the next pitch it felt so good I thought I had hit it out. I’m just glad I was able to come through because there’s no way we were ready to go home yet.”
– Chris Lynn, Gannett Tennessee
DeKalb County eliminated by South Gibson
South Gibson scored seven runs in the first two innings of Wednesday morning’s Class AA State Softball Tournament losers’ bracket contest and went on to defeat DeKalb County 9-0.
The loss eliminates DeKalb County, which lost both of its state tourney contests.
DeKalb County (27-8) was held to just two hits as South Gibson moved on to play in the next round of the losers’ bracket on Thursday.