Lady Cyclones ‘slammed’ by East

Published 11:08 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

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With one swing of the bat the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones went from being a run ahead to being four runs down.

Sullivan East shortstop Kelseay Smith’s fifth inning grand slam capped a five-run inning for the Lady Patriots as the Cyclones fell 6-4 on Tuesday in Three Rivers Conference softball action.

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“We got a lead and I think we got a bit comfortable,” Lady Cyclones head coach Kenneth Hardin said. “We weren’t really attacking at the plate and that’s our fault. But we didn’t quit. We battled back and got it close.”

The Cyclones (10-4, 4-1 TRC) manufactured a run in the second inning against Lady Patriots lefty Brooke McElyea when Lauren Brickey opened the stanza by reaching on an error. Smith’s throw on the Brickey grounder pulled first baseman Alex Ayala off the bag and Brickey reached.

Maci West sacrificed her to second and a ground ball off the bat of Allison Riddle moved Brickey to third and Jess Cunningham was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners for EHS. The Cyclones then pulled off a delayed double steal with Brickey not moving until the catcher had thrown to second and the Cyclones led 1-0.

It remained that way until the fifth when Hannah Gobble was struck by a Cunningham delivery to open the inning. Samantha Smith singled to left and with one out pinch hitter Allison Timbs walked to load the bases.

Cunningham then retired Autumn Gobble on an infield fly but with two outs she walked McElyea to force home the tying tun. Smith battled through seven pitches before she found something she liked on the eighth.

Her blast hit the street over the left field fence and the Patriots led 5-1.

“My mindset was if she gives me something I’m going to crank it,” Smith said. “My team needed me and I am in the three position hitting and my job is to get on base no matter what. I wasn’t looking to hit a home run, that was nice, but I was just looking to get on. She gave me a good pitch and it felt good.”

The Cyclones answered with three runs in the last of the fifth with Kennedy Richardson delivering an RBI single to score Jess Cunningham who walked. Richardson and Maci Herman both scored on a double by Beth Reece as the score now stood 5-4.

In the top of the seventh, the Patriots added an insurance run when McElyea singled and both Smith and Chelsea Sams walked with one out. Hannah Gobble then looped a ball toward right field that Brickey almost got to but she couldn’t get the handle and the ball fell to the ground allowing McElyea to score.

Sullivan East 6-4

Sullivan East 000 050 1 – 6 6 1

Elizabethton 010 030 0 – 4 4 0

W – McElyea L – K. Cunningham

DP – SE 1. LOB – SE 8, EHS 3. HR – K. Smith. 2B – Reece, McKinney.