Lady Rangers blank Hampton

Published 8:54 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sophomore pitcher Corie Schuettler pitched a two-hit gem on Tuesday afternoon at Hampton, and freshman catcher Madison Pierce was 3-for-3 with three runs batted in as Unaka defeated Hampton 11-0 in Watauga Valley Conference softball action.

“Corie pitched nine innings last night,” said interim coach Buford Peters, who stood in for head coach Kenneth Chambers who was out with illness on this day. “We got in at about 11:30, but she did well today. We made a couple of errors but we did pretty good hitting the ball and Peanut did a good job in the third spot.”

Pierce hit a pair of doubles and had an RBI single as well and she put the Lady Rangers on the scoreboard in the top of the first with a two-run two bagger to center. Sydney Markland had a one-out single and Sarah Tipton walked to set Pierce up with runners at the corners.

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Both runners scored when Pierce reached the fence on one hop to give Unaka (4-2, 1-0 WVC) a 2-0 lead. The Lady Rangers pushed a run across in the second on an infield error, a single by Taylor Shanks and a sacrifice bunt by Savannah Tipton for a 3-0 Unaka advantage.

Hampton’s defense allowed a Rangers rally to plate three unearned runs in the third against Lady Bulldogs starter Sarah Kyte. Sarah Tipton reached on an infield error and stole second base. She came in on a single from Pierce for a 4-0 Rangers lead.

Another infield miscue on a ball hit by Katlyn Weaver allowed Pierce to score and put Weaver at third from where she scored on an RBI ground out by Ericka Potter for a 6-0 Unaka lead.

“Early on we had some routine plays that we didn’t make,” said interim co-head coach Gary Bradley, who will share duties with coach Gary Keith after Bill Doss resigned. “It seems like every year we are reloading and not able to get a group together until they are seniors. We have a good group of freshmen this year, and we had two starting, so if we can keep them together and keep them for four years we’ll get better.”

In the fifth, Pierce doubled again and scored on an errant throw from Hampton catcher Annika Inman. Weaver then walked, and Potter followed with a base knock. Both came around on a triple off the bat of Haley Fair for a 9-0 Rangers lead.

A double by Weaver in the sixth brought home two more runs after Tipton singled and Pierce reached on another infield misplay. The Rangers travel to Johnson City on Thursday for a meeting with arch rival University High at Indian Trails.

Unaka 11-0

Unaka 213 032 – 11 10 2

Hampton 000 000 – 0 2 5

W – Schuettler L – Kyte

2B – Pierce 2, Weaver 1.