SWEET SUCCESS: Lady Cyclones ride Brickey’s 2-hitter to state tourney

Published 8:58 pm Friday, May 19, 2017

Consider it vindication for the Lady Cyclones.
In a near identical rematch of last year’s sectional softball contest, Elizabethton reversed last year’s fortunate and earned the 2-0 victory over Union County at Lady Cyclone Diamond in front of a packed house, punching their ticket to next week’s TSSAA Spring Fling in Murfreesboro.
With last year’s 9-2 defeat at home against Union County lingering in the back of their minds, Elizabethton head coach Kenny Hardin knew his team would be ready.
“We knew it would be a tight game,” he said. “I can’t say enough about these girls. They battle so hard. It’s just like I said the other night; these girls don’t quit. They’re a tough group of girls and never give up.”
Lady Cyclone junior Lauren Brickey handled the damage for Elizabethton (37-6) in the circle. While keeping Union County off the board, the pitcher also only had two hits allowed.
“What can you say about her effort,” Hardin said. “You go into this kind of situation and pitch a two-hitter. I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Staying modest, Brickey deterred any praise and distributed to her defense.
“I was just relying on my teammates,” she said. “They backed me up, and I had a lot of confidence in them.”
Going through a pitchers’ duel early, Lady Cyclones got the momentum rolling in the bottom of third with Hannah Edwards getting aboard on a base hit. Abbi McKinney followed up with a shot of her own to get the offense flow. A couple of batters later in the lineup, center fielder Maci West and teammate Jessica Cunningham handled knocked across the Lady Cyclones’ lone runs with back-to-back base hits.
“We knew we had to keep hitting the ball the way had all year long,” Brickey said. “We had to stay together as a team, back each other up. I think we were able to do that tonight.”
Elizabethton now awaits the tournament seeding for next week’s tournament. Class AA tournament action officially kicks off in Murfreesboro on Tuesday, May 23.
“We’re going to have fun, I know we will, but we’re going to have to keep our heads on straight,” Brickey said. “If we go down there and play the way we know how, we’ll be OK.”

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