Fourth-inning push helps Unaka Lady Rangers defeat Sullivan South

Published 10:14 pm Monday, March 9, 2015

By Bryce Phillips

Star Staff

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An explosive fourth inning gave the Lady Rangers the space they needed to put an 8-5 stamp on the Sullivan South Lady RebelsMonday up in Stoney Creek.

With the game tied at four in the bottom of the fourth, Unaka’s Haley Fair slammed a double to bring in pitcher Sarah Hardin’s courtesyWeb1 runner, Kendal Ulbrich, who slid into home for the go-ahead run. Still in the fourth, Fair made her way into home off a midfield double from Taylor Dilks, who went two for two batting. A single from Katlyn Weaver brought Dilks home to put Unaka up 7-3. Like Dilks, Weaver also went two for two from the plate.

“This just shows the type of girls I have this year,” Unaka coach Kayla Clawson said. “They all mesh and work well together. They fought the whole way. I played every single person, so everyone contributed in some way or another.”

In the top of fifth, the Lady Rangers had a scare as Sullivan South filled the bases with no outs. South’s Karrie Hubbard hit a short grounder to Hardin, who scooped it up and tossed it to catcher Katlyn Weaver. Weaver tagged home to get the force out before turning and throwing out the runner on the way to first. Sullivan South’s at bat was ended with an out at second base.

“Instead of just thinking about the play, they felt through the play,” Clawson said about Unaka’s double play. “We haven’t been out here a whole lot, so we are trying to work out their nerves to help them in situations like that.”

The Lady Rangers scored one more time in the bottom of the fifth as Sarah Tipton blasted a triple to the outfield, before being brought home on a sacrifice from  Chelsea Grubb, who was thrown out at first.

The Lady Rebels had the bases loaded again in the top of the seventh. However, with two outs, the Lady Rangers held on as South’s Taylor McConnell was thrown out at first.

Sullivan South got to work early, bringing in one run in the first inning and three in the second, to go up 4-0. However, the Lady Rangers brought in two runs in the second and two in the third to tie things up at four.

Web2Another notable play by the Lady Rangers was by first baseman Brook Austin, who caught a pop foul on the run in the sixth to give Unaka the first of a quick three outs.

Hardin pitched the majority of the game after relieving Corie Scheuttler, in the second inning. Hardin had two strike outs and one walk for the game.

“She is a sophomore this year,” Clawson said. “Last year, she was our workhorse; she pushed almost every game for us. So she has a seasoned year under her belt. She is just the kind of person who won’t let anything get to her. Both of my pitchers are like that. They both work very hard.”

The Lady Rangers’ next game is at Sullivan North on Mar. 11.