Lady Cyclones hold off late Lady Warrior rally, 6-3

Published 11:44 pm Thursday, April 14, 2016

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The Lady Warriors of Happy Valley had Elizabethton on their home turf and wanted nothing less than to throw the regular-season conference race into a muddled mess.

However, the Lady Cyclones put aside their youthfulness and withstood an opportunity by Happy Valley to rally late to defeat the Lady Warriors for the second time in the regular season by a 6-3 score.

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“I just went out and told them to keep their composure,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Ken Hardin about the Lady Warrior rally. “I have said it a hundred times when things like that happen, they are going to happen.

“I don’t know if it is a lack of focus for a minute or two or that we get to over confident because we have done that as well,” Hardin added. “To their credit they got it back together and won the ball game for us.”

The scoreboard read goose eggs until the top of the third when the Lady Cyclones scored three runs to take a 3-0 lead.

Leadoff batter Macie Herrmann singled to get things started and stole second base. When the throw to the bag went awry, Herrmann alertly got to her feet and scampered to third.

Abbi McKinney followed with a scorching double to plate Herrmann with the first run of the game for Elizabethton. Lauren Brickey kept the heat on by following with a single to put Lady Cyclones on first and third with two outs.

Maci West kept her hot bat going as she swatted a single that scored both runners for ‘Betsy.

Elizabethton added a solo run in the top of the fourth as Kennedy Richardson laced a single and proceeded to steal second and third base.

Allison Riddle smacked a ball to right center easily scoring Richardson for the 4-0 lead.

The Lady Cyclones were zipping right along until they hit a snag in the bottom half of the Lady Warriors fifth inning.

Calli Davis led off and hit a grounder to third where McKinney’s throw was offline line allowing Davis to race to third base. Kaitlin Roberts followed up with an RBI single to plate Davis for the first Lady Warrior run of the game.

The ball skipped under the Lady Cyclone right fielder’s glove allowing Roberts to motor all the way to third base.

With one out, Emily Whitaker took a Kellie Cunningham pitch to the moon as she rocketed a shot that left the ball park quickly for a two-run dinger to trim the lead to 4-3 in favor of Elizabethton.

The Lady Cyclones managed to recoup one of the runs in the top of the sixth as Jessica Cunningham collected a single with one out. Riddle ripped her second big hit as she slapped a double that allowed pinch runner Kaitlyn Loudy to score easily.

“I was just more comfortable—she was throwing the pitch where I needed it to be,” said Riddle on her accolades. “I bounced on it and hoped for the best with the swing.”

To leave no doubt, McKinney went yard with a blast that gave her team a three-run lead going into the last at-bat for Happy Valley.

“Coming off the bat it felt great,” said McKinney about her solo shot. “I thought it was out, but I was just running and coach told me it was out. It felt pretty good.”

The Lady Warriors managed to get Whitaker on base with a single and Kenzie Davis launched a double to place runners at second and third with two out and power hitter Lillie Runningcrane at the dish.

Runningcrane was enticed into a fly-ball out to catcher Haley Fair to end the threat and the game.

“We just don’t get started and sometimes we never get started,” said Lady Warrior head coach Bonnie Peters. “You never know with us what the score is going to be at the end of the seventh.

“Monday it helped us with East as we ran out of the gate,” Peters said. “We are working on doing that all the time. None of these games really matter until we hit May anyway.”

Elizabethton ran its record to 7-1 in the conference and 14-6 overall while the Lady Warriors fell to 4-3 and 13-13 overall.


Elizabethton…..003 101 1 – 6

Happy Valley… 000 030 0 – 3

WP: Kellie Cunningham. LP: Kalee Johnson.

HR: EHS- Abbi McKinney (solo). HV-Emily Whitaker (2-run).