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Keep on rolling… Lady Warriors late-game heroics help deliver a win over Sullivan East in District 1-AA

BY NIC MILLER
STAR CORRESPONDENT

BLUFF CITY – With regular-season softball play having been wrapped up for teams throughout the area, it was finally time for postseason action as the District 1AA softball tournament was underway at Sullivan East High School.

Thursday’s contest consisted of the hometown Patriots of Sullivan East taking on the visitors out of Carter County, the Happy Valley Lady Warriors.

It was a very quiet game in terms of offensive production from both sides for the first few innings, as the game would not see the first run of the contest scored until the top of the fourth when Happy Valley would get on the board first with a CC Sutherland single that would bring home catcher Maddie Lingerfelt.

And the Warriors would increase their lead ever so slightly yet again in the top half of the sixth, thanks to an Allie Grindstaff RBI single to increase the Happy Valley advantage to 2-0.

But in the home half of that very same sixth inning, the Patriots were able to knot things up at two apiece on a Keelye Fields RBI single hit into the infield bringing home the runners from third and second base, a controversial call that had fans all throughout the ballpark riled up.

With one inning remaining and the score all tied up, something had to give. And it would be Happy Valley taking part in some late-game heroics, gaining momentum with a limited number of chances remaining.

Lingerfelt came up big again in the seventh by driving in two runs, and an errant throw from the Sullivan East catcher would send another home, giving the Warriors the 5-2 advantage in the top of the final inning of play.

And a marvelous defensive performance by the Warriors, finalized by a fly ball to right field snagged by Aleah Grindstaff in the final frame would shut down the Patriots and send the visitors home happy, winning by a score of 5-2.

With the win, the Warriors survive and advance into the next round of the District 1-AA softball tournament.