Lady Cyclones go nine to defeat Lady Warriors, 6-5

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Whenever Happy Valley and Elizabethton tangles in softball, it’s not a bad idea to run by Bojangles and pick up a tailgate box of chicken and a gallon of tea because one might be at the field for a while.

Such was the case on Tuesday on Lady Cyclone Diamond as seven innings weren’t enough to settle the contest between the Lady Warriors and Lady Cyclones as Beth Reece crossed the dish with the winning run against her old team in the bottom of the ninth to give Elizabethton the 6-5 win.

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“We just stayed with it and I told them if we lose, we lose,” stated Lady Cyclone head coach Ken Hardin. “That’s a great team across the field there and it’s not a shame to lose to them.

“This conference is going to be a fight and a half this year. Every night you have got to play,” added Hardin. “I am proud of the kids. I’m proud of number 13 (Brickey) for coming in there and pitching in the seventh and getting the big hit there.  

“We were going to make them make the play there and that’s what you have to do.”

The Lady Cyclones got off on the right foot in the bottom of the first inning as Macie Herrmann and Abbi McKinney worked back to back walks from Lady Warriors’ hurler Kalee Johnson.

A single off the bat of catcher Reece sent both runs scampering home for a quick 2-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by Lauren Brickey picked up Reece and Elizabethton was on top 3-0 after one complete.

Innings two and three were quiet before the Lady Warriors trimmed the gap to one in the their portion of the fourth inning.

Third baseman Emily Whitaker was pegged by a Kellie Cunningham pitch and took second on a Johnson groundout to short.

Kenzie Davis stepped to the plate and left no doubt in anyone’s mind as she took a Cunningham offering deep over the left field fence for a two-run homer to make the score 3-2.

“I was happy to see that,” said Lady Warrior skipper Bonnie Peters. “It kind of got our bats and momentum going. We are a little slow out of the gate sometimes, and we have to have something to get us going and I thought it was a great game.

“It was probably the best game we’ve played all year.”

Elizabethton created a little separation in the bottom of the fifth inning when they loaded the bases on a walk to Allison Riddle, followed by Herrmann taking a pitch for the team, and finally a single by McKinney.

With the bases juiced, Reece created more headaches for her former teammates as she roped a single to score two runs and give the Lady Cyclones a 5-2 advantage.

Happy Valley didn’t let the dust settle too quickly before ringing up three in the top of the sixth to pull even at 5-5.

With one out, Johnson worked a walk as did Lilly Runningcrane putting runners at first and second. An infield fly for out number two threatened to bring the frame to a close before Bailey Hardin brought life with an RBI-single scoring Johnson.

Sydney Puckett’s hard-hit single to right field brought in Runningcrane and Hardin to knot the score at 5-5.

For the next two and a half innings, it was a pitching and defensive battle before the Lady Cyclones pulled out the win.

With two outs, Reece worked Johnson for a walk. Brickey then stroked a pitch to left field for a single. On the play, the ball skipped under the Lady Warrior left fielder’s glove just enough that Coach Hardin elected to waive Reece past third toward home.

The throw was on line to the plate but Reece was able to slip past the tag for the game winner.

“It was a tough thing for me to do because I love everybody on that team, but it felt great to show them what they missed out on you know,” said Reece with a chuckle. “I know that sounds bad, but I love every one of them.

“I was halfway between, but I thought Sydney had the ball and when it went between her legs and I saw green so I took off running and coach told me to go all the way so I took off.”

Both teams finished with five hits for the game in a pitching and defensive duel.


Elizabethton, 6-5

Happy Valley….  000 203 000 – 5  5

Elizabethton……  300 020 001 – 6  5

Kalee Johnson and Olivia Kelly. Kellie Cunningham, Lauren Brickey (7) and Beth Reece.

WP: Lauren Brickey. LP: Kalee Johnson. HR: HV-Kenzie Davis 2-run (4th).