Bringing out the war party…Lady Warriors rally late for 8-7 win over Lady ‘Horns in play-in contest

Published 8:26 am Friday, May 3, 2019



On Wednesday night Happy Valley and Johnson County met at Elizabethton High School for a pivotal district play-in game with a chance to advance to the district tournament on the line. Tensions were high for this Three Rivers Conference showdown.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When it seemed that all hope was lost for the Lady Warriors, a late-game comeback helped advance them to the district tournament which begins on Thursday night at Sullivan East.

In the first inning of the game the Lady Longhorns, who were the away team in this neutral site matchup, wasted no time to start their scoring party.

After an RBI double by Bella Miller, Johnson County added two more runs to the board coming after a baseline interference call against the Lady Warriors.

It was the exact opposite for Happy Valley to start the game as the first three batters for the Lady Warriors were sat down quickly.

It was a quiet inning in the second for both teams as the Lady Longhorns only put one runner on base.

The same could be said for Happy Valley as Maddie Lingerfelt moved into scoring position but was left stranded after three straight strikeouts leaving the score at 3-0 in favor of Johnson County.

In the third inning, the Lady Longhorns seemed as if they were going to start another scoring run but their hopes were dispelled as Happy Valley made three quick outs to bring the Lady Warriors back up to the plate.

In the bottom portion of the frame, the Lady Warriors seemed to have something going their way by loading the bases. But as it had happened in the previous two innings, Johnson County was once again able to get out of the inning unscathed.

The top half of the fourth inning seemed like a repeat of the first. The Lady Longhorns were able to bring four more runs across the plate with the help of a two-RBI double by Emmy Miller.

It was like Deja vu for the Lady Warriors as they were once again sat down in order with three quick outs.

Johnson County now had a seven-run cushion to work with and it didn’t seem like they were losing any momentum.

Happy Valley gathered their bearings in the fifth inning making light work of the Lady Longhorn batters sitting them down in three at-bats.

In the home half of the inning, Cierra Sutherland was able to get things rolling for the Lady Warriors blasting a double to left field.

Sutherland would eventually come around to score on a wild pitch from Johnson County starter Haley Rider. That was all that the Lady Warriors were able to get, though, as they were now down 7-1.

After another quick half inning on the defensive side for Happy Valley, the Lady Warriors needed to get something going quick or this would be their final game of the year.

That’s precisely what they did as a bases-loaded walk started off the scoring barrage for Happy Valley.

With RBI singles from Claire Johnson, Olivia Absher, and Laura Rice, runners kept coming home one by one allowing the Lady Warriors to tie Johnson County in a game that earlier appeared as if it was going to be a runaway contest.

With the score knotted up at seven, Maddie Lingerfelt came in clutch for Happy Valley hitting a line drive to center field that brought the go-ahead run across the plate.

In a game where it seemed like the Lady Warriors couldn’t get anything to work in their favor, Happy Valley was now on top of the totem pole.

With half an inning left to secure their late-game heroics, the Lady Warriors were able to sit down the Lady Longhorns with three straight outs.

A rally in the bottom of the sixth propelled the Lady Warriors to an unbelievable 8-7 win.

After the big win was secured by a spark of momentum in the sixth inning, Happy Valley head coach Cody Hyder said, “We came out today a little flat, but right there at the end we fired everything back up. We loaded the bases and just passed the torch from one girl to the next and got the job done.

“Abby Holt also did a great job to shut them down in the top of the seventh up one run.”

With this big win, the Lady Warriors will be playing in the district tournament opening with Sullivan South Thursday night at Sullivan East High School.