Lady Cyclones fall in District 1-AA action to Unicoi Co., 6-5

Published 12:57 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

There were two long home runs hit by Unicoi County in the District 1-AA softball tournament being played at Elizabethton High School, but the game wasn’t decided by those.

Using a couple of seeing-eye bloopers late in Tuesday’s winners’ bracket final, the Lady Blue Devils did what no conference team had managed all season and that was defeat the Lady Cyclones 6-5.

The game was up for grabs until the final out as the Lady Cyclones had runners on second and third with one out after Maci West pulled ‘Betsy within one run on a shot that cleared the right-field fence to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.

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“The two bloopers in that one inning killed us there, but our girls played their hearts out,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Kenneth Hardin. “We didn’t give up and came back strong there at the end.

“We put the tying and winning run on base there at the end, but just didn’t get them home.”

The contest from start to finish was like two gladiators going head-to-head as neither team could get any cushion with at least four lead changes over the course of the seven-inning dandy.

It was a hotly-contested game as both teams realized what a win would do.

With the loss, the Lady Cyclones now must work through a trio of games to wear the champion’s crown having to play in the losers’ bracket final and then needing two wins over the Lady Blue Devils to take the district title.

Hardin has eyes wide open on what will be facing his team.

“It’s do or die now,” said Hardin. “If we lose another one, we are done. We can’t do that. Everything is an elimination game now. We just have to play hard.”