Region 1-A Tournament: Lady Rangers speed past Greenback in semifinals

Published 9:46 pm Monday, May 14, 2018

The Unaka Lady Rangers took another large step towards their hopes of making it back to the TSSAA Spring Fling Monday.

It was another day at the office for the Lady Rangers as they downed Greenback, 8-1, during the Region 1-A semifinals in Stoney Creek.

“I thought we played pretty good,” said Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers. “Greenback had a good team. You know, we missed the strike zone a little bit there. It, kind of, shrunk on us a little bit. I thought we did well besides that one play where we had a couple of errors right in a row that gave them their one run.”

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The win earned Unaka a home region championship game against North Greene Wednesday and a berth into the TSSAA State Sectionals.

“They are a really good team,” said Unaka’s Sarah Tipton about North Greene. “We have already played them, and they beat us once. We have a lot of competition with them. We just have to come ready to play.”

Monday’s game was an elimination game, however, one wouldn’t know it with how composed and calm the Lady Rangers seemed as they kept the dugout alive with chant after chant. Tipton said that the Lady Rangers are calm because of their confidence in what they can do on the field.

“Before the game and throughout the whole game, we try to stay up,” said Tipton. “We cheer a lot. We can depend on Corie (Schuettler). We already know she is going to pitch good. We have a good defense. It really wasn’t much pressure.”

After a scoreless first and second inning, the Lady Rangers got things rolling in the third with Unaka’s Erika Potter and Katlyn Weaver both getting two-run singles in the inning while Madison Pierce had an RBI single to build the Lady Rangers’ momentum.

“We just started placing the ball,” said Chambers about Unaka taking a 5-0 lead in the third. “Everyone came up and started being aggressive. Baserunning was good. We were running hard. Every game from here on out, we have to keep getting better and better.”

After Greenback narrowed Unaka’s edge to 5-1 in the fourth, the Lady Rangers sealed the deal with three runs in the fifth. Unaka’s Sydney Markland hit a hard grounder to second that resulted in an error allowing both Savannah Tipton and Lilly Kiser to score. Markland would also make it home off an RBI single from Sarah Tipton to move the Lady Rangers up 8-1.

The game began with a strikeout from Unaka ace pitcher Corie Schuettler and ended with a strikeout from the senior slinger. Schuettler tossed a complete seven as she stuck out 13 Lady Cherokees while just having three hits and one run on her.

At the plate, the Lady Rangers had 12 hits with Savannah Tipton going 3-of-3 with one run. Both Unaka’s Sarah Tipton and Madison Pierce had two hits apiece while teammates Katlyn Weaver and Potter had two RBIs each.

The Lady Rangers’ game against North Greene Wednesday will start at 6 p.m. with the winner earning the region title and a home game in the sectional.