The Anderson County Lady Mavericks softball team dropped a tough game at Karns Monday evening, falling 9-5.
“We played a pretty good team tonight,” said Allen Russell, head coach of the Lady Mavs.
“They didn’t lose a lot off of last year’s team, which came in second in the district and probably should have won the district tournament.”
The Lady Mavs took a 1-0 lead in the first when McKenna Miller drew a walk and later scored on a base hit by Leah Freeman.
Starter Makayla Simmons made that lead stand until the bottom of the third, when the Lady Beavers scored twice to go up 2-1.
The Lady Mavs answered with four runs in the top of the fourth to reclaim the lead at 5-2. Scoring started when Hannah Hooks reached on a one-out single and scored on a double by Kenzie Horton. Simmons then singled and Kaitlyn McKamey reached on a fielder’s choice, but Horton was forced out at third. Jaylynn Bullock then reached on an error, which allowed Simmons to score and McKamey to advance to third. Bullock then stole second and Audrey Lankford singled to score two runs.
Mackenzie Henderson led off the top of the fifth with a base hit, and Freeman reached on error to give Anderson County runners on first and second with no outs. Hooks sacrificed both runners up a base, but the rally stalled.
Down 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Karns plated five runs to take a 7-5 lead.
The Lady Mavs managed to load the bases with two outs in the sixth but again failed to score. The Lady Beavers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 9-5.
Freeman led the seventh with a base hit but that was all Anderson County could muster.
“We are right there,” Russell said. “We got a couple of runners on tonight and it’s kind like our M.O. We had a strikeout here, or a pop-up here, and got them off the hook. We had a base-running error. I don’t want to get down on them, but we’ve got to get better.
“We have not had an easy schedule,” he said. “We’ve played all of these tournaments and everybody we’ve faced in a tournament is good.”
Reece Simpson took the loss in relief. She pitched three innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Freeman went 2-4 with an RBI and a stolen base while Horton was 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Lankford was 1-4 with two RBI while Hooks and Henderson each added a hit.
Last Tuesday, the Lady Mavs beat visiting Scott 16-5 in five innings.
After the Lady Highlanders scored two unearned runs in the top of the first, Anderson County scored 11 runs in the bottom of the first as the Lady Mavs sent 15 batters to the plate.
Lankford opened with a walk, and Miller followed with a walk. Henderson then tripled to right to score both runners. Henderson then scored on a base hit by Freeman. Freeman stole second and scored on a base hit by Hooks.
Horton then doubled to give the Lady Mavs runners on second and third. They both scored on a base hit by McKamey. With one out, Bullock singled to advance McKamey to second. With two outs, Miller walked and Henderson then singled to score McKamey and Bullock. Freeman then tripled to score Henderson. Freeman then scored on a base hit by Hooks.
Anderson County scored two more runs in the second when McKamey led off with a single and Simpson followed with a single. Bullock then singled to score McKamey. With one out, Miller singled to score Simpson.
Scott added two runs in the top of the fourth to make it a 13-4 game.
The Lady Mavs scored three in the bottom of the fourth when Simpson led off with a base hit and moved to second on an error by the left fielder. Pinch hitter Kaycee Baldwin singled to score Simpson. Ashlynn Grisham then singled and Reece Miller singled to score Baldwin. Brooklyn Duggar then singled to score Grisham.
The Lady Highlanders added a score in the fifth to make the final 16-5.
“When we are mentally focused and do what we know how to do, we can compete with anybody,” Russell said. “It’s all about mental toughness right now, and being disciplined.”
Simpson got the start and the win. She pitched three innings and allowed no earned runs on one hit with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Henderson and Freeman were each 2-3 with a triple and two RBI. Hooks was 2-3 with two RBI. McKamey, Simpson, and Bullock each collected two hits as well, with McKamey collecting an RBI. Miller was 1-1 with an RBI, two walks, and a run scored.
On Thursday, the Lady Mavs traveled to Oliver Springs and won 12-10.
Anderson County scored six runs in the first inning and then again in the second to take a 12-2 lead.
The Lady Bobcats scored a run in the second and one more in the third and added three in the fourth. They added three in the bottom of the seventh to make the final score 12-10.
“They’re [Oliver Springs] a very good single A team,” Russell said. “They’re going to beat a lot of people.”
Simpson got the start and the win. She pitched four innings and allowed five earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Freeman went 3-5 with a triple. Lankford, Miller, Hooks, Horton, Simmons, McKamey, and Bullock each had two hits while Simmons had a double and three RBI. Lankford, Miller, Hooks, and Bullock each had two RBI as well.
On Friday, the Lady Mavs played two games at Heritage.
In the opener, they fell to Heritage 12-4.
The Lady Mountaineers went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the second but Anderson County tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third. Heritage scored five in the bottom of the fourth and five in the bottom of the sixth to pull away for the win.
“Going into the fourth it was a tie game, and three errors later it’s 7-2 and we just couldn’t recover,” Russell said.
Simpson took the loss as she pitched 5.1 innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk.
Henderson went 3-3 with a walk, while Hooks went 1-2 with a double and two RBI. Freeman and Simmons each collected two hits.
In the nightcap, the Lady Mavs fell to Farragut 13-0.
The Lady Admirals scored 11 runs in the top of the third to help put the game away.
“They [Farragut] just hit it,” Russell said.
Simmons took the loss as she pitched four innings and allowed seven earned runs on 14 hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Horton collected the only hit for the Lady Mavs.
Anderson County will host Coffee County Thursday at 6 p.m. and will play in the Gibbs Invitational this weekend. They visit Oak Ridge on Monday at 6 p.m.