TA Dugger teams stumble in tournament games

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Girls: Sullivan Central Middle School 1, TA Dugger 0

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Blountville- The Junior Lady Cyclones lost in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday night as they dropped their opening TSSAA Middle School Tournament game. In an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, Laci Gobble simply dominated, going six innings without giving up any earned runs or hits and striking out thirteen batters. However, SCMS’s pitcher Zoey Blair matched her inning for inning, giving up just one hit and striking out eleven.

The difference in the game came in the first inning as Gobble was issued a walk on a ball that was just out of the strike zone. Sullivan Central’s Kat Horterstine then stole a couple of bases and scampered home on a passed ball to give the Junior Lady Cougars a 1-0 lead. This score would hold for the rest of the game, although both teams threatened. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars got a baserunner on an error at third. Cougar player Lacey Mullins then stole second to get into scoring position. That runner would then advance to third on a stolen base. Laci Gobble would then get a called dropped third strike. Cyclones catcher Katie Wilson popped up and attempted to throw the runner out, but the throw got away from her and drifted into right field. However, an alert Maggie Tester fielded the overthrow and threw the Cougar runner out by a step to save a run.

The Junior Cyclones made one final effort to tie the game. Laci Gobble hit a line drive to left center with one out and then stole second. Kaitlynn Gryder laid down a bunt to move Gobble to third. Unfortunately, a strikeout ended the game. Junior Lady Cyclones Head Coach Taylor Shanks spoke to the fact that despite the loss, her team showed a lot of grit. “I am proud of our girls tonight; they battled all night long. Central is a very good team, and we gave them all we had tonight. Laci always gives me 100% on the mound, no different tonight. I have never seen a kid put in blood, sweat, and tears like that kid does.”

The Junior Lady Cyclones will travel Wednesday night to take on the loser of Tennessee Middle School and Sullivan Heights.

Boys: Liberty Bell 22, TA Dugger 8

Kingsport- TA Dugger traveled on Tuesday night to the Tribe Athletic Complex to take on the Patriots in an elimination game, and although they battled all game, they had a challenging time cooling off the Patriots’ bats and saw their season end. The Junior Cyclones took an 8-5 lead in the third inning before Liberty Bell answered with thirteen runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Ryan Jones and Evan Chambers both had two hits and 2 RBIs, while Alsiter Sumner also chipped in a couple of hits.

The TA Dugger Cyclones finish their season at 18-7, and Head Coach Korie Hardin shared his appreciation for this year’s team. “These guys were awesome; every day they showed up wanting to get better. They became a family, and I cannot wait to see what they do not only at EHS but in life in general. I love these kids to death!” Hardin exclaimed.