Siegel 1, Gibbs 0
MURFREESBORO – Siegel missed scoring chances in five of the first six innings, but Presley Leebrick’s sacrifice fly after a three-base error in the seventh plated the only run in a 1-0 victory over Gibbs in the loser’s bracket final in the TSSAA AAA State Tournament here Friday morning at Starplex.
Siegel advances to the state championship game at 3 p.m. on Friday against Dickson County. The Lady Stars would have to win twice to claim its first state title.
Veronica Westfall tossed a four-hit shutout, walking one and striking out six to keep her team’s hopes alive. Westfall was also involved in the game’s only run, hitting a ball to deep right field that bounced off the glove of Gibbs’ Kayley Kern for a three-base error. Westfall scored on Leebrick’s sac fly to left field.
The senior right-hander then retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the final batter of the game to seal the win. She faced two batters over the minimum and was helped by three double plays, one critical one in the first inning.
Leah Sohm led off the inning for Gibbs with a chopper down the left field line for a double. Olivia Wheeler’s sacrifice bunt got past Westfall for a hit and the runner took second after a pickoff attempt at third on the play.
Sierra Hucklebee bunted back to the pitcher and Sohm got caught in a run-down between home and third. She was tagged out and Wheeler got caught off second. Siegel catcher Kara Lynne Levi threw behind Wheeler at second and picked her off for a double play.
Gibbs also ran into two other double plays on pop-up bunts, one started by Westfall and the other after a nice diving grab from first baseman Kristin Lee.
Siegel stranded a pair of runners in the third, fourth and sixth innings and lined into an inning-ending double play in the first as well before finally breaking through in the seventh.
White House-Heritage 2, Waverly 1
White House-Heritage punched its ticket to the Class AA softball finals with a 2-1 win over Waverly in the losers bracket finals Friday morning at Starplex.
The Lady Patriots will battle Christian Academy of Knoxville at 2:30 Friday at Starplex. If Heritage wins, another championship game will be played at 6.
All of the offense came late in Friday morning’s contest, as White House-Heritage scored solo runs in each the top of the sixth and seventh innings and survived a Waverly rally in the bottom of the seventh.
Sami West’s solo home run in the top of the seventh, which gave the Lady Patriots a 2-0 lead at the time, proved to be the difference. Alyssa Arden drove home a run with a double in the top of the sixth for the first run of the game by either team.
Arden scattered six hits, three walks and struck out four in earning the complete-game win.
Waverly pitcher Allie Brown allowed only two earned runs in seven innings, scattering six hits.
Waverly rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Cassie Tidwell singled with one out, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Emily Hooper’s two-out double to cut the deficit to one.
However, Arden recorded her fourth strikeout with the tying run in scoring position to finish the game and send her team to the championship game in Heritage’s first trip to Spring Fling.
CAK, which will have to be defeated twice, handed White House-Heritage its lone loss thus far in the state tournament.
Dickson Co. 7, Siegel 1
One more win.
That’s all that separates Dickson County from a second state title in three years, as the Lady Cougars advanced to the Class AAA state championship game for the fourth straight year with a 7-1 win against Siegel on Thursday.
“We adjusted and we hit the ball hard,” said Dickson County coach Shane Buchanan.
It was some senior leadership that helped the Lady Cougars pick up the victory. Makray Odom, Ashley Scott and Brooklin Lee all contributed RBIs. The trio had three in the bottom of the second inning to get things going early for Dickson County and put the Lady Cougars in a comfortable 4-0 lead early. Lee also had an RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth, while Odom had one more in the fifth.
In the circle, Lee, who was named The Tennessean softball player of the year earlier this evening, struck out 12 batters.
“(Siegel is) a tremendous hitting team,” said Buchanan. “They’ve got great hitters. For (Lee) to have a performance like that, it’s what she’s done for four years.”
The Lady Cougars now await the winner of the Siegel-Gibbs game, which will be played Friday at 9 a.m. The championship game is set for 3 p.m., with the if game scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
“I just want to win and go vacation somewhere,” Buchanan said.
Gibbs 8, Clarksville 2
Gibbs hit three home runs, all two-run shots, to eliminate Clarksville from the Class AAA tournament 8-2.
Olivia Wheeler hit the first two-run shot in the top of the third to give Gibbs a 3-0 lead. Abby Hicks smashed a two-run homer in the top of the fifth for a 6-0 lead and Kayley Kern’s two-run home run in the top of the seventh put the game out of reach for a 8-2 advantage.
Clarksville (38-9-1) finished in fourth placein the tournament. It finished in third place in 2013 — the program’s first state appearance.
The Lady Wildcats left six runners in scoring position. They scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Peyton Wilson had an RBI single.
DeKalb County 5, Chester Co. 1
MURFREESBORO – After taking its first loss of the tournament late Wednesday night following a 55-minute rain delay, DeKalb County responded on Thursday with a 5-1 victory over Chester County to keep its season alive.
DeKalb County (35-5-1) moved into the final four of the state with the win.
The Eaglettes struggled to hit at times in the tournament, but they gave themselves an opportunity to score in this one.
“DeKalb was a good team, and we hit some balls hard, but we got some unlucky breaks,” Pipkin said. “We had runners on first and second with no outs, and Autumn McDaniel’s knee pops out of place, but our girls battled and never quit. We played two-and-a-half hours and played tough through all of them.”
The Tigerettes jumped out early with three runs in the first inning with a run scored on a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly by freshman Maddison Parsley and RBI single by junior Myranda Bailiff.
“We came out and got on them early,” DeKalb County coach Danny Bond said. “That is was everybody wants to do, but we hit the ball and played good defense.”
Chester County got its lone run in the third inning when DeKalb County pitcher Kayley Caplinger was called for an illegal pitch with a runner at third base.
“It takes a lot of character under the circumstances to win, battling through adversity with the illegal pitches,” Bond said. “But these girls had the will to win. That is what you work on all year to show at this point.”
Caplinger was called for four illegal pitches, which Boyd said is not something his team hasn’t dealt with.
Caplinger allowed one run on four hits, while striking out five.
DeKalb County scored two more runs in the third inning before working to keep Chester County off the bases.
– Michael Odom
Clarksville 12, Stewarts Creek 1
Clarksville High junior infielder Peyton Wilson hit a 3-run home run laser to centerfield that broke a 1-1 tie and gave CHS a 4-1 lead in the top of the third inning.
The Lady Wildcats cruised from there, winning by the mercy rule. The win propels Clarksville to a 4 p.m. losers bracket contest against Gibbs.
The Lady Wildcats (38-8-1) would tack on five more runs in the top of the fourth aided by Stewarts Creek’s three errors. The Red Hawks had six errors in the game, four of which came off Clarksville bunts.
Clarksville was led in hitting by Shelby Gibson who was 2-for-4 with a double and single. Taylor Woodring had two singles and two RBI. Wilson had a HR and three RBIs.
Lady Wildcats pitcher Lindsey Eldridge pitched her third complete game in the tournament. She struck out four with no walks.
Stewarts Creek’s lone run came in the bottom of the second after a balk call scored Westin Ramsey.
Waverly 6, DeKalb County 2
MURFREESBORO — It might not have been perfect, but Waverly Central High School’s Alley Brown followed up Tuesday’s flawless pitching performance with another solid effort on the mound, helping lead the Lady Tigers to a 6-2 win over DeKalb County on Wednesday at Starplex.
Brown, a junior right-hander, surrendered just four hits while striking out four and walking one in her complete-game effort.
Meanwhile, the Lady Tigers’ offense erupted for five runs in the top of the fourth to erase an early two-run deficit and lift them into Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. winner’s bracket final against Christian Academy of Knoxville.
“I was really stressed out in the beginning, but my teammates came through,” said Brown, who gave up a pair of runs in DeKalb County’s two-hit bottom of the third. “They really started hitting, and from then on it was just going good for us.”
Kaylie McIllwain went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and three RBIs for Waverly Central (38-10-2), while teammates Taylor Travis and Jordan Wertz also tallied a pair of hits in the win, which featured a 30-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth.
“It didn’t really bother me,” Jones said of the half-hour delay. “I just knew my teammates were behind me and we were going to be alright.”
DeKalb County (34-5-1), which will face White House Heritage in Thursday’s 10 a.m. loser’s bracket contest, plated their first run in the third by way of a Lady Tigers fielding error, while Katelynn Hall, who finished 2-for-3 at the plate, drove in the second with a two-out single to right.
– Michael Murphy
St. Benedict 17, JPII 14
MURFREESBORO – The Pope John Paul II High softball team pounded out 14 hits on Wednesday evening.
Unfortunately for the Lady Knights, St. Benedict piled up 17 hits.
The two teams combined for 15 errors as well, but it was the Lady Eagles who emerged victorious, keeping their season alive with a 17-14 victory in a Division II-Class AA State Tournament elimination game at the Starplex softball complex.
The two teams tied the state-tournament record for runs in a game, set in 1988 when Memphis Skyview claimed an 18-13 win over Richland.
“It is surprising,” PJP II senior first baseman Alley McDonald said. “We’re both really good teams. You kind of expect the score to be very low. When you have great hitters, it’s going to be high-scoring game.”
McDonald – a Southeastern Louisiana University signee – hit for the cycle (producing a single, double, triple and home run) and drove in five runs. Her three-run home run came moments before a rain delay in the fourth inning, giving the Lady Knights an 8-6 lead.
St. Benedict (18-21) took control early with a five-run first inning.
Then, the Lady Eagles retook the lead with a five-run fifth inning, but the Lady Knights (24-16-1) responded with five runs in the sixth to tie the contest at 14.
St. Benedict’s three-run sixth, which included a two-run double by junior Grace Sweat to place her squad in front to stay.
The Lady Eagles advanced to face the loser of Thursday morning’s winners bracket final between Baylor and Girls Preparatory School in Thursday evening’s losers bracket final.
– Craig Harris
Siegel 6, Gibbs 1
MURFREESBORO — Gibbs High School couldn’t do it.
Neither could a one-hour rain delay.
Nothing could slow down surging Siegel Wednesday night as the Lady Stars posted a 7-1 win over Gibbs in the second round of the double-elimination state Class AAA softball tournament at McKnight Fields.
Siegel (48-6) led 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth when heavy rains hit, forcing a 60-minute delay.
As soon as play resumed, the Lady Stars scored four quick runs, including a long three-run home run by Kara Lynne Levi.
“We told them to re-focus, and they did,” said Siegel coach Perry Lyons.
“I’m pretty sure they’re the team to beat,” said Gibbs coach Carol Mitchell.
Siegel continues winners’ bracket play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Dickson County.
The Lady Eagles edged in front 1-0 in the first inning when leadoff hitter Leah Sohm reached on an error and eventually scored, but Gibbs could do little else against Siegel pitcher Veronica Westfall.
Westfall allowed just four hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking only one.
“She has been doing that for us all year,” said Lyons. “As she goes, we go.”
Westfall, who homered twice earlier in the day against Clarksville, also ripped a two-run homer against Gibbs in the fourth inning to give Siegel a 2-1 advantage.
Siegel racked up 12 hits, including 11 off Hicks, who worked the first 5 1/3 innings for the Lady Eagles.
– Mike Blackerby
Clarksville 8, Arlington 2
Clarksville High responded to an earlier loss to Siegel that dropped the Lady Wildcats into the 3A consolation bracket with a 8-2 victory against Arlington.
The Lady Wildcats scored six of their eight runs in the first inning after a pair of doubles and three singles. Pitcher Lindsey Eldridge had a two-RBI single to give CHS a 4-0 lead and a pair of Arlington errors produced two more CHS runs. Eldridge finished 2-for-4 with two singles and three RBI. Freshman Taylor Adkins finished with a single, double and RBI.
Arlington starter Taylor Manley couldn’t get out of the first frame. She gave up all five hits with five earned runs.
Clarksville will battle Stewarts Creek at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the losers bracket.
Dickson Co. 4, Stewarts Creek 2
Makray Odom scored on a single and three-base error in the top of the seventh, which turned out to be the dagger, as Dickson County was able to hold off a lurking Stewart’s Creek 4-2 Wednesday for its second win in the Class AAA state tournament.
“She wouldn’t have stopped if I would’ve told her,” said Dickson County coach Shane Buchanan after Odom’s shot to center was bobbled and the speedster ultimately rounded the bases.
“I had no thoughts of stopping her at all.”
Odom’s solo effort came at a critical time in the game, as Stewart’s Creek had just pulled within one run a couple of innings prior. Sydney Heath hit a two-run RBI double in the fifth inning to make it 3-2.
“That’s mistakes we can’t make,” said Stewart’s Creek coach Tory Atwood.
“We’ve got to block that ball up. If we don’t block it up, we have to hit our cuts. It’s just little mistakes like that that are going to cost you.”
Dickson County’s Ashley Scott continued her impressive run with a two-run shot to right field in the top of the fifth for her second homer in as many games.
Brooklin Lee and the Lady Cougar defense had another solid game, as Lee finished with five strikeouts in the winning effort.
“(Stewart’s Creek) presents a real challenge with their speed and their slappers,” said Buchanan.
“We tried to do some different things to get our quicker, bigger athletes the ball. It worked, for the most part, and we made plays when we had to.”
Dickson County will now play the winner of the Siegel vs. Gibbs game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the winners bracket finals. Stewarts Creek drops to the losers bracket and will play the winner of Clarksville vs. Arlington game Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
Siegel 6, Clarksville 1
Siegel senior pitcher Veronica Westfall was a one-woman wrecking crew Wednesday. She held down Clarksville High’s hitters with a 12-strikeout performance while helping her own cause with two home runs and three RBIs.
Senior outfielder Jensen McElroy drilled a solo home run in the bottom of the first to extend Siegel’s lead to 2-0.
Freshman infielder Caitlyn McCrary made it back-to-back homers with her solo shot for a 3-0 lead.
Westfall’s two-run homer came in the top of the fourth.
Clarksville High played without pitching ace McKenzie Rose who was injured in last week’s sectional. Junior Lindsey Eldridge earned the start, pitched a complete game and struck out four.
Siegel will battle Gibbs at 5:30 Wednesday while Clarksville will take on Arlington at 4.
– George Robinson
Friendship Christian 7, University School of Jackson 3
Friendship Christian pitcher Courtney Petty was solid in a complete game and Friendship Christian won its first-round Division II-A contest over USJ Wednesday.
She struck out eight and scattered six hits in the victory, which moved FCS to winners bracket finals Thursday at 10 a.m. against The King’s Academy.
Petty was also tough at the plate leading off for the Lady Commanders, belting three hits, including a double.
Friendship Christian’s Riley Walker had two hits, including a double, and three RBIs to pace the Lady Commander offense.
Midway 7, Forrest 3
Defending Class A champ Forrest was eliminated with Wednesday’s losers bracket loss to Midway.
Midway erupted for six runs in the top of the second inning and never looked back.
Forrest cut the lead in half with a three-run third inning, thanks to a two-run double by Amanda Patterson. However, that was all the offense the Lady Rockets mustered in the loss.
Chetser Co. 2, Livingston Acad. 0
Livingston Academy pitcher Sidney Pennycuff allowed only two hits in Wednesday’s Class AA elimination game, but Chester County made t hem count in a 2-0 win.
Livingston Academy mustered just four hits on the day as Tori Reagan collected two of those.
Stewarts Creek 2, Brighton 0
MURFREESBORO – Kendall Mills threw a complete game shutout Tuesday night as Stewarts Creek as the Red Hawks captured their first ever state tournament win.
The Redhawks topped Brighton 2-0 thanks to Mills’ 11 strikeouts in the opener at the Starplex fields.
“We’re playing to win,” Mills said after the win. “At the beginning I was really nervous but then I just got used to pitching.”
Stewarts Creek will play Dickson County on Wednesday while Brighton will play Seymour High.
Mills was not the only Red Hawks player who shined on Tuesday.
Loryn Sherwood sent her 22nd home run deep in the bottom of the third to put the Redhawks out in front 1-0.
An inning later, the Redhawks found themselves up 2-0 cruising behind their defense.
“We always tell Kendall to take it one pitch at a time and have a short memory,” Tory Atwood said after the win. “We’re excited we made it here, we won the first game but it doesn’t matter if you don’t finish it out.
“Now that history is made, let’s focus on tomorrow.”
Though Brighton was threatening at the top of the seventh, the Cardinals could not get it going at the plate.
“After the first three innings, I though we settled in,” Brighton head coach Robin Jacobs said. “We played pretty good but couldn’t knock the runs in.
“We’re just trying to win one game at a time but we played a good game.”
– Aldo Amato
GPS 10, JPII 4
MURFREESBORO – The Pope John Paul II softball squad met a familiar opponent in the first round of the Division II-AA State Tournament against Girls Preparatory School at McKnight Complex.
Unfortunately for PJP II, the result was also a familiar one.
The Lady Knights gave up six unearned runs, and a five-run GPS sixth highlighted by a three-run homer from Hannah Kincer gave the Bruisers a 10-4 win.
PJP II (21-15-1) will play again tomorrow where they await the loser of the Baylor-St. Benedict contest.
The meeting between PJP II and GPS was the ninth contest at the state tournament with the Bruisers winning eight match ups.
The lone win was the opening game of the 2013 tournament where PJP II defeated GPS 5-4. The Bruisers came through the loser’s bracket to defeat PJP II twice for the 2013 title.
GPS carried a 3-1 lead after one inning before PJP II hurler Anna Wantz (12-5) and Kincer settled in.
A double off the bat of Alley McDonald plated Alexis Williams for the Lady Knights first run of the game, before Kincer (12-3) took over from the circle.
After McDonald’s double, Kincer did not allow another PJP II hit until a single to right in the sixth from Savannah Lewis.
– Ryan Jent
The King’s Academy 8, Davidson Acad. 3
MURFREESBORO – The Division II-A battle was tight until the fifth inning when The Kings Academy broke it open to capture an opening round win over Davidson Academy at Starplex
The Lions topped the Bears 11-2 earlier this month.
It was a 5-3 game until the Lions played three in the bottom of the fifth with two RBI-singles. An error helped TKA break open the game to go up 8-3.
The result could have been much more lopsided as TKA left nine runners on base.
It also helped TKA pitcher Haven Taylor, who pitched a complete game, settled in afterwards to help on the defensive side.
“My off-speed pitch was working inside tonight,” Taylor said after the game. “But I knew my defense would do the work behind me.”
The Lions will go on to play the winner of Wednesday morning’s USJ-Friendship Academy game at 10 a.m. Thursday while Davidson Academy will play the loser at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Davidson Academy head coach Stacy Swinea said her Bears are down but not out just yet.
“We never gave up and that is what this team has always done,” Swinea said. “We had some nerves going but we did well.”
– Aldo Amato
Dickson Co. 2, Seymour 0
Defending Class AAA runner-up Dickson County received solid pitching and defense in advancing at Tuesday’s state softball tourney.
“We played great defense,” said Dickson County coach Shane Buchanan.
“We had pitching, and our catcher did a fabulous job. We just hit too many fly balls. We talked about it earlier, but we just didn’t do it.Luckily, we got on top of it early and got the two runs.”
Ashley Scott provided the offense for the Lady Cougars, belting a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to get things going for the Lady Cougars. Katy White slapped an RBI hit to center field in the bottom of the second to score Keely Buchanan, who reached second on a double.
Brooklin Lee earned the victory for Dickson County, fanning eight.
The Lady Cougars will now play against the winner of the Stewarts Creek-Brighton game tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at McKnight Field. Seymour will face the loser of that game at 10 a.m.
– Andy Simmons
CAK 10, Livingston Acad. 0
MURFREESBORO — Christian Academy of Knoxville softball coach Dayna Carter learned again on Tuesday how good pitching can mask a slow offensive start at the plate.
She has Allison Zimmerman to thank for that.
Zimmerman, CAK’s junior ace in the circle, scattered two hits and nine strikeouts over six innings as CAK overcame a sluggish start to roll past error-plagued Livingston Academy 10-0 in the opening round of the Class AA state tournament at the Murfreesboro StarPlex.
The seven-inning win advances the Lady Warriors, who turned a two-run lead entering the sixth into a rout, into Wednesday’s 5 p.m. winners’ bracket game against either Chester County or White House Heritage.
“She shut them down,” said Carter, who has guided CAK to three straight state tournaments. “It was nice to have her on today, hitting her spots. With our bats, we know they’re going to come around eventually. If our pitchers are on and our bats are off, it’s never a good combination.”
Pennycuff suffered the loss after allowing 10 runs (six earned) on 14 hits and striking out four. Abi Ledbetter went 2-for-3 with a double and triple to lead Livingston Academy (23-11), which made its first state tournament appearance.
Livingston will play an elimination game against either Chester County or White House Heritage on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
“This is the first time our school has every accomplished this much,” Livingston coach Kacy Bennett said. “They were nervous. This is the worst we’ve played since the beginning of the season.”
Huntingdon 1, Forrest 0
Sara Beth Hayes fired a no-hitter and freshman Angelina Culley’s sixth-inning homer to left lifted Huntingdon to a win over the defending champs Tuesday.
The Fillies (36-8) will play the Marion County–Midway winner in a non-elimination winner’s bracket game Wednesday.
Hayes and Forrest counterpart Samantha King largely dominated the first five innings, with both of the Fillies’ hits in that span staying in the infield and Forrest unable to reach except for a couple Fillie errors.
“She mixed up her pitches really well. Obviously she had our number. I’m not going to take anything away from her,” Forrest coach Becky Cheatham said of Hayes.
– Craig Thomas