Unicoi LL on to Southeast region: TAD girls help team to state title

Published 3:13 pm Sunday, July 24, 2022

After three straight 10-0 mercy rule victories over Morristown, Smith County and Pleasant View the Unicoi County Little League softball team claimed the state title and will move on to the Southeast Regional tournament in Warner-Robbins Georgia.

Helping the cause are three T.A.Dugger girls – Kaitlyn Gryder, Addi Campbell and Laci Gobble and all three have contributed in a major way. In the opener Gryder and Carly Baxter each were 3-for-3 at the plate with Baxter earning the shutout win.

Gobble and Gryder each scored two runs in the shutout win.

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“Carly pitched in the first game and got the win and in the second game Gryder and Gobble each pitched well,” Unicoi County head coach Andy Baxter said. “All the girls are team players and all they want to do is win. Laci pitched the championship game that enabled us to take the state championship and go to the region tournament.”

Laci when asked about her win deflected praise to her teammates saying, “I did pretty good because I have a good team behind me and that’s why we won. We all care about each other and we play as a team.”

Gobble contributed two hits and a pair of runs batted in as UC won game two by mercy rule.

When talking about her hitting prowess, Kaitlyn said, “I had a double that drove in two runs and I scored after that. We all hit pretty good and as a team we played our best.”

Teamwork is the base of the success the team has had and Addi said, “This has all been a lot of fun. The girls on the team have welcomed us and treat us like family. We had a good day of practice today and will start the tournament on Saturday.”

Baxter has stressed teamwork throughout the season and the playoffs have proven that a solid strategy and he was thankful for the hard work the Carter County trio has brought saying, “These girls work very hard and have blended in well. They have bought into the concept of family and have been solid contributors. All these girls work hard and their hard work has paid off. Now we get to go to Georgia and try to keep it going. I would like nothing better than to see us get to the Little League World Series as Southeast champions.”