Lady Cyclones shut down Unaka in soggy Eastman Classic opener, 4-0

Published 10:59 am Monday, April 9, 2018

KINGSPORT— The 2018 Eastman Softball Classic got off to an ominous start on Friday at Domtar Park in Kingsport as Elizabethton and Unaka managed to get in their opening game in pool play before the skies opened and rain washed out the rest of the games on Friday as well as Saturday.

The Lady Cyclones received a complete game, three-hit shutout from Lauren Brickey in the pitching circle to down their county counterparts by a 4-0 score. Brickey recorded three strikeouts.

“Lauren threw well,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Ken Hardin. “She got into trouble there late, but she got a couple big outs, and her defense played well behind her.

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“Other than that, she pitched a terrific game for us.”

While Brickey was rock and firing from the circle, her teammates were doing what was needed to make sure that she would have all the run support needed to earn the win.

Maci West batted 2-for-3 while Kira Dillard, Macie Herrmann, Hannah Edwards and Kaylen Shell collected a base hit apiece in the five-inning contest ended when the time expired.

Lilly Kiser had the hot bat for Unaka in the contest going 2-for-2 while Sarah Tipton collected the only hit of the game for the Lady Rangers.

Corie Schuttler took the loss for the Lady Rangers allowing the four runs while issuing six hits to the Lady Cyclones.

“Unaka is a good team and Corie pitches as well as any pitcher in the area,” said Hardin. “We’ve not been playing well lately, and we have to make sure we are hitting our stride come tournament time.”

Meanwhile, Unaka didn’t play badly, they just couldn’t string together enough scoring opportunities to stay with the Lady Cyclones

“We got our heads down early in the game,” said Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers. “We hit the ball hard but right at somebody. I thought Corie did a good job of pitching. We are here to learn and get better.

“We are looking forward to playing some of the better teams,” Chambers continued. “We play in tournaments like this to hopefully see some teams like we might face in the state tournament. “You can’t practice against yourself to emulate what you would see in a team like an Elizabethton at the state level.”