Lady Cyclones stave off elimination with win over Unicoi Co.

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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A Bee Gee classic is the song “Staying Alive” and for area teams in district tournament action that song may be at the top of the playlist.

The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones were facing one of those situations on Tuesday evening when they faced off with Unicoi Co. to remain alive in the District 1-3A tournament played at Tennessee High in Bristol.

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Thanks in part to a standout effort from Lela Byrd, the Lady Cyclones lived to play another day as they dealt the Lady Devils a 12-4 defeat to advance in the tournament against Crockett who had beat Elizabethton on Monday by a 5-2 score.

Byrd blasted two home runs to go along with a double in a 4 for 5 day at the plate and picked up the win from the pitching circle going six strong innings allowing all four runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out five. Only one run was earned.

Lillie McDuffie finished out the seventh frame with one strikeout and no walks to put a nail in the coffin facing the minimum number of Unicoi Co. batters in doing so.

The game got off to a rousing offensive start for both teams as the score was 4-4 at the end of one complete inning.

Mollie Johnson got things rolling with a lead off single and was chased to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emma O’Quinn. Byrd picked up her first hit of the game with a single that brought home the speedy Johnson for a 1-0 Lady Cyclone lead.

A Sadie Williams double put runners at second and third base. After Unicoi Co. recorded their second out of the inning, Makinna Blackwell stepped to the dish and delivered a single to left field scoring courtesy runner Addy Campbell to make the score 2-0.

A McDuffie single plated Williams with Blackwell moving up to third base. An error on a Jozey Reece ground ball scored Blackwell to make it 4-0 Lady Cyclones.

After the Lady Devils responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, the Lady Cyclones retook the lead in their half of the second inning coming with two outs.

Byrd launched her first dinger of the night to centerfield to make it a 5-4 game. Williams followed with her second hit of the night, a single. Williams took second base on a passed ball and when Adrian Heading laced a single to center field, Williams scampered home to make it a 6-4 game.

That was all the runs Byrd would need as her team added four runs in the top of the fourth, one in the sixth, and one in the seventh to salt the game away.

Blackwell added a two-run homer in the fourth and Byrd added her second one of the night, a solo in the top of the sixth.

Blackwell and Heading added three hits apiece for Coach Ken Hardins team which recorded a total of 16 hits in the contest to only seven for the Lady Blue Devils.

Elizabethton and Crockett were scheduled to play on Wednesday evening weather permitting.