Lady Rangers hold off Cloudland, 3-0

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It was a wet day in Stoney Creek, but that didn’t keep Cloudland and Unaka from getting in a game of softball.
The Lady Rangers advanced their win streak to three games as they topped the Lady Highlanders 3-0.
The game was called in the sixth inning due to the condition on the rain-drenched field.
Lady Rangers Corie Schuettler, despite the slick conditions, was able to keep control of the ball as she tossed the whole game. Schuettler finished the day with 12 strikeouts against one walk. The senior pitcher only had two hits against her.
“It is always bad to have to play in weather like this, but I am just glad our team was able to come out, not quit and get a big conference win,” said Schuettler.
The Lady Rangers first wins of the season have been league games against Sullivan North, Hampton, and Cloudland. Schuettler said its good to get the season started on a good note as the Lady Rangers look to make it back to Murfreesboro after competing in the TSSAA Class A State Tournament in 2017.
“I think the momentum is really good,” said Schuettler. “We are hitting really well considering that we are just now getting a lot of the girls back from basketball. I think getting a 3-0 start is good for our confidence.”
For the Lady Highlanders, which are under the leadership of head coach Matt Birchfield this season, Tuesday’s game was the first of the regular season.
“I am really happy with the kids today,” said Birchfield. “I think they really made plays in the field. They hit the ball well. We have to get better at hitting. They have a good pitcher, so we knew we would struggle there a bit. We are young but were able to play them 3-0. And I think Unaka is really, really strong.”
The Lady Rangers posted a run in the bottom of the inning as Unaka’s Madison Pierce, after getting on base with a bunt, was batted home by teammate Tayla Potter who grounded out to Cloudland second baseman Krisi Bare.
In the top of the second, Schuettler stuck out three Lady Highlanders before Cloudland answered with a three up, three down outing of their own in the bottom of the frame. Cloudland pitcher Kenzie Birchfield started things out with a strikeout before Bare threw a runner out and caught a pop fly to close the inning.
Cloudland’s Leah Birchfield had a single to left field which was sandwiched between two strikeouts from Schuettler in the top of the third. Birchfield would be picked off by Unaka catcher Katyln Weaver while trying to advance to second on a wild pitch. Lady Rangers centerfielder Sarah Tipton made the tag.
The Lady Rangers got on board again in the bottom of the third as Unaka’s Erika Potter blasted a home run out of centerfield.
Cloudland made it to base again in the fourth as Lady Highlander Marlee Hughes reached on a bunt. However, Cloudland’s at-bat ended with one stranded as Unaka’s third baseman Pierce threw out a runner at first.
Unaka scored one last time in the fourth as Lady Ranger Madison Ensor came home on an RBI single from Unaka’s Lilly Kiser.
The game was halted in the fifth as the rain started pouring down, drenching the infield. Play resumed before the game was called in the sixth due to the unfavorable conditions.
“I think overall, considering the circumstances, the girls played good, and it was a good conference win today,” said Lady Rangers head coach Kenneth Chambers.

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