Jensen’s blast helps send Lady Cyclones over Unicoi County in Upper Lakes action

Published 1:19 am Friday, March 18, 2022

BY BRANDON HYDE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
The Lady Cyclones hosted the Unicoi Lady Blue Devils on a warm, springlike afternoon in Elizabethton Thursday. It looked as if Elizabethton would have the game well in hand after the first two innings.

Unicoi mounted a comeback to tie the game midway through but the Lady Cyclones would edge Unicoi after a monster home run by Ember Jensen lifted Elizabethton over Unicoi, 6-3.

The Lady Cyclones held Unicoi at bay by only allowing a walk and no runs in the first inning. Maely Ingram got things started for Elizabethton after hitting a line-drive double in between left and center field.

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After an error by Unicoi on a Maddie O’Quinn bunt, Ingram would find her way to home plate for Elizabethton’s first score and O’Quinn would sneak her way to second.

A sacrifice bunt by Ember Jensen put O’Quinn on third base in prime position to score which is exactly what she did after a Madisun Pritchard line drive to the Unicoi pitcher and throw to first base allowing O’Quinn to tag up and head in for the score to give Elizabethton a 2-0 lead.

Unicoi put a couple of runners on first and second as pitcher Madisun Pritchard found herself in a full-count situation, but she would deliver a searing strike to end the inning keeping the Lady Blue Devils scoreless.

The bottom of the third inning saw Ingram get another double after a deep ball to left field. This would be her sixth double in only two games.

A bunt sacrifice brought Ingram to third for a chance at another score and a sacrifice fly by Jensen allowed Ingram to do just that making it 3-0 at the bottom of the third inning.

After the first three innings, one just got the sense that Elizabethton was going to run away with this one, especially after a spectacular stretch grab on a line drive by Bailey VanHuss immediately gave Unicoi an out at the top of the fourth inning.

However, Unicoi had other plans when it came to an Elizabethton shutout. A grounder into center field by Lady Blue Devil Kylee Hensley would be the start of a Unicoi comeback.

A single to left field by Laurel Osborne would put Unicoi runners on first and second. An errant pitch by Elizabethton then advanced Unicoi runners to second and third base.

This would set up Faith Bennett for Unicoi who smacked one just to the right of center after the ball zipped past Bailey VanHuss who would sacrifice her body on a dive for the ball. An errant throw to home would allow two runs by Unicoi bringing the Lady Blue Devils to within one, making the score 3-2 in the fourth inning.

After a pow-wow at the mound, the fourth inning would continue to be tense for the Lady Cyclones as a walk and another hit would see the bases loaded.

The Cyclone fans were biting their nails on a full count pitch, but Pritchard came through as a line drive out to third base would end the inning and bring a sigh of relief to Elizabethton fans.

Elizabethton later allowed another Unicoi score, tying up the game 3-3. Just when the momentum was shifting to Unicoi, Elizabethton shored up their defense and did a good job of keeping the Lady Blue Devils scoreless the rest of the game.

The tiebreaker would come in the bottom of the fifth inning as Ember Jensen would blast a two-run home run over the left-field fence to put Elizabethton up 5-3.

Another run late in the game would put Elizabethton up 6-3. The Lady Cyclones held Unicoi scoreless in the top of the seventh inning and sealed the victory at home over the Lady Blue Devils.