Lady Cyclones open diamond season with 4-2 conference win over South
Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Although the start wasn’t exactly what was hoped for in the early innings, the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones pulled it all together at the right time down the stretch.
Behind a good seven-inning pitching performance from Kelli Cunningham, the Lady Cyclones opened their 2016 diamond season with a 4-2 win over conference foe Sullivan South.
“We had a little nerves today,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Ken Hardin. “We put the bat on the ball and did a good job there late. We didn’t panic when we got behind so that’s good to see.
“I don’t think we hit like we are capable of, but South has a much better team this year, and I think every night you’re going to have to play in this conference,” added Hardin. “I am proud of the girls for sucking it up and pulling out the win.”
The Lady Cyclones led 2-1 going to the top of the fifth inning before South’s Lauren Dade scored her second run of the game to pull the Lady Rebels even at 2-2.
Elizabethton wasted little time getting the lead back in their half of the fifth as back-to-back singles from Kennedy Richardson and Abbi McKinney got the Lady Cyclones rolling.
Both Richardson and McKinney crossed the dish in the frame to give Cunningham all the cushion she would need as the pitcher faced only one above the minimum over the final two innings recording two of her six strikeouts in the last two frames.
T. McConnell took the loss for the Lady Rebels as the Lady Cyclones recorded nine hits during the course of the contest.
Macie Herrmann and McKinney led the hit parade with two hits apiece for Coach Hardin’s team who host Gate City today in a non-conference tilt before traveling to Unicoi Co. on Thursday in a big Three Rivers Conference early-season showdown.
The Lady Rebels got three hits from Dade to lead South.
Hardin was pleased with his hurler’s effort on the day even through some early shakiness.
“She did a great job today. She didn’t have all her stuff there early and she’ll tell you that, but she persevered, and they got a couple of hits off her, and we made some mistakes in the field which was the down side of the game because we are pretty picky about our defense.
“Our offense came back and pulled us through.”
South 001 010 0 – 2 9
Elizabethton 100 120 x – 4 9
T. McConnell (0-1) and Bryanna Tear. Kelli Cunningham (1-0) and Allison Riddle.
WP: Cunningham. LP: McConnell.