Rangers cruise past Highlanders

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Unaka jumped out early and didn’t look back, going up 7-0 after three innings on rival Cloudland. Jill Faust got the bats rolling shooting a line drive into the centerfield gap for a double, scoring both Kylie Blevins and Trinity Bowers in the first inning. Unaka pitchers Trinity Bowers would get two strikeouts and a groundball to retire the side in the second. The Lady Rangers would get the bats going again in the bottom of the second; Lyndie Ramsey would single on a ground ball past shortstop to score Mattie Salyer;  then Haley Taylor would steal home off a wild pitch to make it 4-0 Rangers after two innings. After Cloudland would strand Blair at third base in the top of third, the Rangers would put three more runs on the board to make it 7-0. The inning would start with back-to-back singles by Bowers and Faust. The Highlanders would benefit from a line drive double play off the glove of Hamby, but the Rangers would take advantage of a couple of walks to load the bases. Taylor would then hit a single to centerfield scoring Mattie Salyer.  Lyndie Ramsey would then reach on an error putting two Rangers base-runners in scoring position. Alisha Harrell would steal home on a passed ball to make it 7-0; however, Birchfield would stop the bleeding after getting Hailey Gilman to ground out sharply.
Cloudland would get on the board in the top of the fourth as Benfield would hit a double to start things off, followed up by Cora Gibbs, who would hit a single into left that would allow Benefield to sprint home. The bottom of the fourth would see the Rangers add two more runs as Molly Salyer would knock home Kylie Blevins and a long sac fly off the bat of Mollie Buckles would score courtesy runner, Kimberly Proffitt.  The top of the fifth would see the Highlanders Laken Blair hit an inside-the-park homerun as her line drive would fly over the outreached glove of right fielder Ramsey to make the score 9-2.
For the Rangers, Molly Salyer would go 3-4 on the day at the plate, while Bowers, Blevins and Taylor would record multiple hits in the contest. Cloudland’s Ella Benfield and Cora Gibbs would both record two base hits. Trinity Bowers was strong off the mounds going seven innings and only giving up two runs with seven strikeouts. Kendall Birchfield would throw six innings for the Highlanders, giving up nine runs/ four earned.
After the contest, Unaka’s Head Coach Kenneth Chambers spoke about the game “Cloudland is always a good team, so to get this win is good for us; Trinity was strong and hit her spots..we hit the ball well but we left way too many runners in scoring position. We were also able to get a lot of players in the game today; that’s always a plus.” The Rangers will next play Hampton on Tuesday while the Highlanders will host North Greene on Thursday.

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