Anderson County and Clinton advanced to the final four of the District 3-AAA Softball Tournament at AC’s Gary Houck Field Monday as the Lady Dragons outscored Central 13-5 after the Lady Mavericks shut out Karns 8-0 in a pair of elimination games.
AC and Clinton were scheduled to play an elimination game Tuesday before Powell went up against Halls in the winners’ bracket final of the double-elimination tournament.
During Monday’s opener, the Dragons scored four runs in the home first as Annabelle Jackson and Lexie Jacobik reached base before Halie Martin, Sophie Seviers, winning pitcher Skylar Newby and Angel Fields singled in runs. Sara Hammitt collected Clinton’s fourth run in the second as she reached on an error, stole a couple of bases and scored on an error.
The Lady Dragons built their lead to 10-3 in the fourth as Lacy Smith, Hammitt and Jackson reached base. After Smith scored on an error, Jacobik tripled home two runs before Martin tripled home Jacobik. Martin scored after Seivers struck out with the catcher dropping the third strike, forcing a throw to first for the putout as Seivers crossed the plate.
Central scored twice in the sixth and was threatening for more before Jacobik threw out a runner at third base for the final out of the inning.
Jacobik doubled home Jackson in the sixth inning before Newby helped her cause with a two-run homer. Newby retired the side 1-2-3 in the seventh to notch the win. AC’s shutout of Karns was another combined pitching performance by Hannah Bruce and Hannah Freeman. Bruce pitched the first four innings, giving up three hits, walking one and striking out five. Freeman gave up two hits over her three innings as she struck out two.
The Lady Mavs rallied in the third inning as Maddie Sickau and Jada Reeves reached before Gracie Webb’s groundout scored Sickau. Emilee Fowler’s home run with Reeves aboard added two more runs. After Bruce walked and was replaced by courtesy runner Abbie Buswell, the latter came around on Courtney Lively’s single.
Fowler’s homer with Reeves on base in the fourth built the AC advantage to 6-0. Sickau homered to lead off the sixth before Reeves singled, advanced on Gracie Webb’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Fowler’s single.
Clinton opened its tournament play Thursday, May 3 as the Lady Dragons outlasted Karns 9-6. Two-run rallies during the fifth and six innings and an insurance run in the seventh were crucial for Clinton.
Jacobik’s groundout scored Hammitt with the Lady Dragons’ first run in the first inning before Angel Fields’ bunt single in the second plated Newby. Martin’s two-run third-inning homer with Jacobik on first provided Clinton with the lead for good. Martin’s second homer with Jacobik again aboard in the fifth built the Clinton lead to 6-3. Jackson’s two-run homer with Hammitt on base increased the advantage to 8-3. Karleigh York drove in Fields with an insurance run in the seventh when her single brought home Fields.
Trailing 9-5 heading to the home seventh, Karns loaded the bases and scored one run before starting and winning pitcher Kara Bradley got a ground-ball out before recording a called strike three to seal the win.
The Lady Dragons made some big plays on defense. Centerfielder Nikki Jones made a diving catch in the second inning. First baseman Newby made an unassisted double play when she caught a line drive and stepped on the bag to double up the runner. Bradley also started a fifth-inning double play when she grabbed a line drive on the mound and threw to second base to get the runner.
Anderson County had an easy time with Campbell County in another Thursday first-round contest as the Lady Mavericks shut out the Lady Cougars 14-0 in a game called in the fourth inning by the mercy rule. AC pitchers Hannah Bruce and Hannah Freeman combined on a one-hitter.
The Lady Mavs started their onslaught with a five-run first inning on just one hit while five batters walked. AC was also helped by two Campbell errors. Bruce’s two-run double plated Sickau and Reeves. Mallorie Overton grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Lively.
Six more Lady Mavs crossed the plate in the second with just a hit and taking advantage of seven walks and a hit batter. Aundria Long, Makenzie Jones, Overton, Sickau and Emelia Yelencich collected RBI. Overton and Leah Elkins drove in runs during the three-run third.
The Lady Mavs performed a well-executed double play in the first inning when Freeman grabbed a ground ball in the pitcher’s circle and fired to Reeves at second base to nab the runner before Reeves threw to Overton at first base to record the second putout.
Friday, May 4 was not a good night for either the Lady Dragons or the Lady Mavs as Clinton lost to Powell 16-1 before Halls shut out AC 9-0.
Powell struck early with 11 runs in the first inning. The Lady Dragons could only muster four hits in a game called in the third inning due to the mercy rule. The Clinton highlights were back-to-back singles in the first inning by Seviers and Martin before Jones and Emma Clevinger reached base in the second on bunt singles. Jacobik was awarded first base on catcher’s interference while Hammit’s successful sacrifice bunt in the second plated Jacobik for what would be the only Lady Dragons’ run.
Friday’s second game found Halls pitcher Bri Blair frustrate the Lady Mavs as the latter were no-hit until Sickau singled to lead off the sixth, followed by Reeves’ double. However, Blair was able to pitch out of the inning without relinquishing a run. Long and Overton singled for the Lady Mavs in the seventh. Halls produced big innings with a three-run first and two-run third to take control.
An AC defensive highlight occurred in the fifth inning when right fielder Lively threw to third baseman Fowler to record the out on the Halls base runner.