Lady Highlanders drop District Championship to North Greene

Published 3:05 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

The Lady Highlanders and the North Greene Huskies have gone back and forth all season, so it only made sense that they would meet for a championship to settle matters. Despite the Lady Highlanders’ 2-1 advantage in games played this year, this time around the Highlanders would come out on the short end of a pitcher’s duel.

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The Lady Huskies would strike first, tacking on 2 runs on the board in the first inning. A walk and a single would put runners on first and second. After a hard ground ball, Matti Phillips would score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hannah Brooks. An error at first base would allow Lady Huskie Hailey Bailey to scamper home to make it 2-0 after the top of the first inning. Reagan Turbyfill would hit a line drive to center in the third, but she would be stranded after Jayla Harper struck out.

Things would go quiet in the middle innings, although the Lady Highlanders would be making contact at the plate, they often hit line drives directly at North Greene positional players. The Lady Huskies would pick up an insurance run in the top of the seventh as a ball that appeared to skip foul was called fair, and Reagan Turbyfill couldn’t field a bunt that would allow Lady Huskie Jordan Marr to scamper home.

The Lady Highlanders would rally in the bottom of the seventh as E. McCoury would draw a walk on four pitches, and Ryan Turbyfill bounced a double off the centerfield fence to make the score 3-1. However, with the tying run at the plate, the Lady Highlanders’ rally would be cut short after a strikeout, and Reagan Turbyfill would lift a deep fly ball to left for the final out.

The Lady Highlanders would be held to just 2 hits in the game as Lady Huskie’s pitcher Hannah Brooks would keep the Lady Highlanders off balance all day, surrendering just one run and striking out 10. Reagan Turbyfill would nearly match her; she would surrender just one earned run and chalk up seven strikeouts in a complete game effort. Post-game, head Lady Highlanders Coach Matt Birchfield would discuss his team’s efforts and the quick turnaround. Despite the loss, the Lady Highlanders still advance to a sub-state game. “Offensively, we just couldn’t get the bats going. I thought we pitched well. Reagan was strong off the mound all day. We just have to do a better job with our bats. Now we have a quick turnaround with graduation Friday night. We have to be mentally tough and turn it on when we need to, and these kids know and understand that,” Coach Birchfield shared.

The sub-state game will take place on Saturday as the Lady Highlanders will travel to play the 20-7 Oliver Springs Bobcats in a best-of-three series.