County District Tournament action: Cloudland ends Hampton’s season, Unaka on wrong end of pitcher’s duel

Published 5:12 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
As softball season wraps up, area teams are either punching their tickets for the next round or seeing their seasons end. Four county teams were in action Wednesday night one saw their season end the other three are on the brink of either going to sectionals or seeing their season end.
Cloudland 10 Hampton 0
Cloudland will live for another day while the Lady Bulldogs saw their season come to an end. A 1-0 game in the bottom of the third quickly changed as the Lady Highlanders put five on the board in the bottom of the third to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Ryan Turbyfill would get the inning going with a single to center, followed by a Kendall Birchfield base hit. Hampton would get two quick outs as Laken Blair would hit a grounder to Hampton’s pitcher Cheyenne Fair for an RBI for the second out. Cloudland would then get three base hits, including a Bethany Sluder double to extend the lead to 6-0. Hampton would get out of the inning as Hampton’s Mallory Lamb would put the tag on Eowyn McCoury on a bang-bang play at the plate. The Lady Highlanders would add two runs in the fifth to end the contest. Hampton Coach Chelsie Weddle spoke about her team’s season after the game, “The seniors have played key roles in this program. They were my first group of players to have for four years. I took over when they were freshmen. They were a key part of this year’s success as a team.”
Kendall Birchfield and Turbyfill would be on spot all night, holding the Lady Bulldogs to just one baserunner and no hits in the contest as Mackenzie Thompson would reach on a walk in the third. Turbyfill would go 3-4 in the matchup while Blair and McCoury would each have two RBIs apiece; the Lady Highlanders would pick up 10 hits in the contest.
North Greene 3 Unaka 0
The Lady Rangers would come up on the short end of a pitchers’ duel as they would struggle to get the bats going in the second game on the night in District 1-1A Tourney. The Lady Rangers would have a bit of a scoring threat in the first as Hannah Taylor would get a single and Trinity Bowers would draw a walk, but Taylor would get caught stealing third base to end the inning. Both pitchers were putting up goose eggs on the scoreboard and both teams’ defenses would have their moments. Bowers was robbed of an extra base hit in the fourth as Lady Huskie left fielder Heidi Harmon would fully extend for a deep ball that was trailing away from her.
The Lady Huskies would finally get on the board in the sixth as a bloop single over the first basemen’s head would find grass to start the inning. Bowers would then get a strikeout for the second out, but the Lady Huskies would hit a double to knock a run home and then extend the inning off an error off a bunt attempt, scoring yet another run. The Lady Rangers would bring the tying run to the plate in their final inning as Bowers and Molly Salyer would reach base, but North Greene would get a strikeout to end the threat. Trinity Bowers was the hard luck loser going six innings and giving up just one earned run and striking out nine while scattering just four hits
The Lady Rangers and Cloudland will face each other Thursday night in an elimination game.
Volunteer 7 Elizabethton 2
The Lady Cyclones would struggle to get much going against Volunteer in the Winners Bracket game of the District 1-3A game, being held to just four hits against rise-ball pitcher Addyson Fisher. Elizabethton would draw to within two at 3-1 in the top of the fifth as Cheyenne Poiroux would score off a Maley Ingram single, but the Lady Falcons would answer with four in the bottom of the fifth to put the game away.
Lela Byrd would get a base hit and an RBI in the game.
 The Lady Cyclones will now face the Tennessee High and Unicoi winner in an elimination game Thursday evening with a regional birth on the line. Lady Cyclones Head Coach Kenny Hardin knows what is at stake Thursday night, “we have to do everything in our ability to simply survive,” he shared.

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