Lady Rangers continue hot surge on diamond with 10-0 win over Lady ‘Dogs

Published 11:13 pm Monday, April 10, 2017

HAMPTON— Many, many moons ago, country singer Jerry Reed had a chart buster with a song with the line ‘When you’re hot, you’re hot, and when you’re not, you’re not.’
That line is proving true this season for Coach Kenneth Chambers and the Unaka Lady Rangers as the Lady Rangers were thumping the cover off the softball Monday evening at Hampton High School in taking down the Hampton Lady Bulldogs by a 10-0 score to remain unbeaten in conference play.
The win comes on the heels of a championship game appearance in the NFS tournament this weekend against Unicoi County and a solid showing at the Eastman Tourney in Kingsport.
It also gives Unaka the momentum as the Lady Rangers hit the road to Myrtle Beach for an Easter week tournament.
Unaka road the arms of starting pitcher Sarah Hardin and closing picture Corie Schuettler as the duo combined on a two-hit shutout.
If it were not for a double from Madison Neumann and a single off the bat of Anika Perkins, the Lady Bulldogs wouldn’t have much to show for Monday’s effort against the conference leader.
Meanwhile, Unaka put four runs on the board in the top of the first and fifth and sandwiched a two-run inning in their portion of the third inning to bring the game to a halt at the end of five innings.
Madison Pierce couldn’t be stopped at the dish as the lead-off batter rapped out four hits including a triple, double, and two singles while scoring two of the Lady Ranger runs.
Four Lady Rangers had a multi-hit day as Madison Ensor, Sarah Tipton, Erika Potter, and Lilly Kiser collected two hits apiece in the contest. Potter had a two-bagger for one of her hits.
Katlyn Weaver, Hardin, Taylor Shanks, Tayla Potter, and Haley Fair each collected a single each in accounting for the 17-hit performance for Unaka.
Chambers said that it is his hope that playing the upper-level teams will help mold his team into a championship-caliber team come district, regional, sub-state, and state play.
“That’s what we were just talking to them about right there is that we are playing a lot of hard teams to help us get ready for conference games,” said Chambers. “You know it’s hot today, but we have to get used to that because there is going to be snow days and there is going to be hot days.
“We have to play no matter what. I thought our pitchers did a great job,” continued Chambers. “We were a little impatient on the hitting today, but overall I thought it was a pretty good team effort. I felt like we could hit a little better. Whether it is a slow pitcher or a fast pitcher, we have to be patient and hit the ball and put it in play.”
Chambers was asked what he liked about his team coming out of the NFS tournament and getting ready to head for sunny Carolina beaches.
“When we stay up as a team and play as a team we are doing pretty good,” added Chambers. “We beat a pretty good Sullivan Central team and saw some really good teams over there. We saw different pitching, but to be good and go to the state tournament, you have to be ready to face slow pitching and fast pitching.
“We are trying to help ourselves by playing these tougher teams and have seen and played some really good teams like Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett that will help us get there.”
Unaka ran its record to 13-4 overall.

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