HENDERSONVILLE – The Hendersonville High softball team couldn’t overcome a series of first-inning miscues in Thursday evening’s Region 5-AAA Tournament championship game, suffering a 5-3 loss to visiting Clarksville at Drakes Creek Park’s Griffin-Crandell Field.
The Lady Wildcats scored all of their runs in the first inning. The first three of those runs scored on a two-out throwing error.
Clarksville (35-7-1) was aided by a hit batter, a catcher’s interference call, two walks and two errors.
The Lady Wildcats had just one hit in the five-run frame and only produced four hits in the game.
“It was discouraging,” Lady Commando head coach Jeff Serbin said. “We put some baserunners on. We get a chance to get out of the inning and don’t make a play. I don’t know if it was nerves or what. We have to have a better start in these types of games. All of these teams left are good.”
Hendersonville (37-13-1) stranded 11 baserunners, six of which were left in scoring position. The Lady Commandos had the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings and came away scoreless.
“We had two bad baserunning mistakes,” Serbin said. “We just have to make contact and put the pressure on them. We did that up to the point of getting runners on. Then, we struggled.”
Hendersonville senior Carley Carlisle hit her 10th home run of the season – a two-run shot – in the fifth inning, and sophomore Sarah Beth Biggerstaff scored when junior Annsley Kalamon reached on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning.
The Lady Commandos left multiple runners stranded in four consecutive innings, from the third through the sixth frames.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak and forces Hendersonville – which was in the regional championship game for the first time since the 2000 season – to travel to Dickson County for one of six Class AAA sectional games. The two teams will play on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sectional winners advance to the state tournament.
Dickson County – the 2014 state champion and 2015 state runner-up – rolled to a 9-1 win over Ravenwood in Wednesday’s Region 6-AAA final.
“If they want to reach their goal, they can’t play with fear,” Serbin said. “They have a good pitcher (senior Brooklin Lee). We just have to relax and go play.”
Reach Craig Harris at email@example.com or at 615-575-7138. Follow him on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.
Clarksville 500 000 0 – 5 4 0
Hendersonville 000 021 0 – 3 9 2
Lindsey Eldridge, McKenzie Rose (5) and Macey Milliken; Carley Carlisle and Matti Byrd. WP – Eldridge (13-2). LP – Carlisle (25-8). Save – Rose (7). Home runs: Hendersonville – Carley Carlisle (10). Records: Clarksville 35-7-1, Hendersonville 37-13-1.