Cloudland rides big inning into championship game

Published 8:59 am Friday, May 10, 2019



KINGSPORT— It was win or go home for both the North Greene Lady Huskies and the Cloudland Lady Highlanders on Wednesday night as a spot in the championship game loomed over the two.

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The two teams were knotted at one apiece after the first inning, but an explosive second inning made a statement for the Lady ‘Landers. They would add three runs and end the game early in the fifth inning with a final of 11-1.

North Greene started the game with Abi Laws on the mound in an attempt to gain the much-desired championship game and a guaranteed berth into next week’s regional tournament.

Leah Birchfield kicked things off with the Cloudland bats as she struck a hard-hit ball into left-center for a single. She was followed by Jasmine Birchfield who smacked a ball down the left field line scoring Birchfield from first and making it 1-0 after the top half.

Kenzie Birchfield was the starter in the pitching circle for Cloudland.

Katie Roberts got the bats going for the Lady Huskies as she popped a double into left. She was followed by Breezy Savage who laced a ball into left scoring Roberts and making the score 1-1 which is how the inning would end.

The top of the second inning was the swinging point in the game. The inning started with Heaven Caraway being walked.

An attempted sacrifice bunt turned into a bunt hit for Gracie Cook putting runners on first and second.

Next, a successful sacrifice bunt from Kenzie Birchfield scored one run and moved the other to third. After three errors, a walk and a batter hit by a pitch an additional three runs scored and the bases were loaded.

The stage was set for Heaven Caraway who hammered a ball deep to left center back to the wall scoring three runs with Caraway pulling in safely with a stand-up double. The inning would finally end with the score at 8-1 in favor of the Lady ‘Landers.

Kenzie Birchfield continued her great game on the mound going three up and three down, keeping the momentum high for the Lady Landers heading into the third inning.

That momentum would continue right into the inning as Cloudland would once again load the bases for Jasmine Birchfield. She would hit a hit deep fly ball into right and score all three runners giving her four RBIs for the game. The inning ended 10-1.

The bottom of the third was much the same for the Lady Huskies despite a single from Haley Kirkpatrick as the side was retired in just four batters following some terrific defense from Cloudland.

The top of the fourth meant one more run for the Lady Landers as a sacrifice fly from Cook would score Caraway who had previously tripled.

Kenzie Birchfield finished her exceptional performance on the mound in the fourth and the fifth innings allowing only two more hits and ending the game victorious, 11-1.

For Cloudland, a date with county foe Unaka awaited them on Thursday evening as the Lady ‘Landers faced the daunting task of needing two consecutive wins to capture the title.