Lady Cyclones shut out Happy Valley behind Johnson

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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To say that Elizabethton Lady Cyclone senior Mollie Johnson was in a zone on Monday at Lady Cyclone Diamond would be an understatement.

Johnson pitched a complete game, five-inning contest against Happy Valley, just missing a perfect game by walking one batter while going 4 for 4 from the leadoff position with two RBIs in a 10-0 victory.

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The game was the annual Folds of Honor contest for the Lady Cyclones. Johnson opened the game with a double and was driven home by another double off the bat of Lela Byrd for a 1-0 Lady Cyclone lead. Byrd took third base on a passed ball and was brought home when Sadie Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to left field. Elizabethton led 2-0 at the end of the first inning.

After a lead-off walk to Lady Warrior Makayla Miller to start the second frame, Johnson quickly got out of the frame and put her offense back to work. Lilly McDuffie reached base on a one-out single to set things up in the bottom of the second. A pop fly by Grace Whaley couldn’t be handled by shortstop Miley Miller of Happy Valley, putting runners on first and second for the Lady Cyclones. Addy Campbell advanced both runners a base when she laid down a sacrifice bunt. Johnson then took care of cleaning the basepath when she ripped a single to centerfield, scoring both runners in front of her. The score at the end of two innings of play was 4-0 in favor of Elizabethton.

Elizabethton added five runs to their tally in the bottom of the third as Byrd got things started in grand style by bouncing a home run off the top of the scoreboard in centerfield to make it 5-0. Williams followed with a single and advanced to third on a double off the bat of Jozey Reece. A McKenna Blackwell RBI single brought Williams home with courtesy runner Ava Kellerman taking third on the hit. McDuffie ripped a two-run double, scoring both Lady Cyclones who were on the basepath and extending the Lady Cyclones’ lead to 8-0. Whaley pushed McDuffie to third base on a groundout, and Campbell picked up an RBI on a single to make it 9-0 before the Lady Warriors managed to get out of the inning.

After a scoreless fourth inning, the Lady Cyclones closed the door on the game in the bottom of the fifth as Johnson lifted a double to left field to start the inning for Elizabethton. Senior Emma O’Quinn closed out the contest as she followed with a double of her own to bring home Johnson for the run-rule final run as the Cyclones won 10-0.

Besides Johnson’s 4-for-4 day, the Cyclones (9-4) received two hits apiece from Byrd, Reece, and McDuffie, while O’Quinn, Williams, Blackwell, and Campbell collected one each in a 14-hit attack. Johnson had eight strikeouts in the contest.