Leah Freeman hit for the cycle — a single, double, triple, and home run — the first in school history. She accomplished the feat while batting lead-off for Anderson County.
“She’s starting to see it [the ball] very well,” said Allen Russell, head coach of the Lady Mavs. “She was hitting good for taking two years off, but now after this first half of the season, she’s getting more confidence in herself more than anything, especially at the plate.”
The Lady Mavs scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second, two in the third, one in the sixth, and two in the seventh.
“Oak Ridge is definitely a much-improved team compared to what they have been in years past,” Russell said. “They’re still young and maybe don’t have the dominant pitching, but their new coach has coached them up well.”
Reece Simpson got the win as she pitched all seven innings. She allowed no earned runs on just four hits with seven strikeouts. She was 1-4 at the plate.
“In the last three games, she has pitched the best she has all year,” said Russell.
Mackenzie Henderson was 1-4 with two RBI, while McKenna Miller was 2-5 with an RBI. Kenzie Horton also had two hits. Makayla Simmons, Kaitlyn McKamey, and Jaylynn Bullock each had a hit.
The Anderson County Lady Mavericks were also busy last week against some top teams.
Last Tuesday, Anderson County made the short trek to Halls where the Lady Mavs fell to district rival Halls 5-2.
The Lady Red Devils took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second and added three in the third. The Lady Mavs scored twice in the top of the sixth when Freeman singled in Miller. Horton then grounded out to score Henderson.
Simpson took the loss. She pitched six innings and allowed five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
“We really didn’t play badly,” Russell said. “We just didn’t get a couple of hits when we needed them with runners on base.”
Henderson finished the game 2-3, while Freeman, Horton, Miller, Hannah Hooks, and Audrey Lankford each had one hit.
On Thursday, the Lady Mavs beat a very good visiting Coffee County Central team 12-9.
Anderson County took control early as it plated four runs in the first and added eight runs in the third. Coffee County scored one run in the second and five in the top of the fifth before adding three runs in the sixth.
“They’re the Triple-A state runners up,” Russell said. “We jumped out on them early and were playing well but we got relaxed a little bit. They [Coffee County] hit it the whole game. We made some good plays defensively but they started finding holes and made it more interesting than we wanted.”
Simmons picked up the win. She pitched 1.2 innings and allowed one earned run on two hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Freeman went 3-3 with a double, triple, and three RBI. Lankford finished 2-5 with two RBI, while Henderson was 1-3 with a double and two RBI. Simmons was 2-4 with two RBI. Bullock was 1-4 with two RBI.
On Friday, the Lady Mavs opened play in the Gibbs Invitational.
Anderson County played Rhea County to a 5-5 tie in the first Friday game.
Each team scored a run in the first but the Lady Mavs scored four runs in the second to take a 5-1 lead. Rhea County scored three runs in the third and added a run in the fourth to end the game in a tie.
“We played at five o’clock and when we showed up there was snow on the ground,” Russell said. “We played well until the fourth inning. We had three errors.”
Simpson got the start but no decision. She pitched four innings and allowed three earned runs on nine hits with one strikeout and two walks.
Miller went 1-2 with two RBI. Lamkford was 2-2 with an RBI. Henderson finished 1-3 with an RBI. Bullock and McKamey each had a hit.
Anderson County fell to Girls Prep of Chattanooga in the second Friday game by 6-1.
Girls Prep scored a run in the first and another in the second before adding four in the third.
The Lady Mavs added a run in the fourth when Henderson doubled in McKamey.
Simmons took the loss as she pitched three innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
“They’re [Girls Prep] pretty good and we didn’t play well,” Russell said. “We made some more errors, but they’re a good team and they’re going to force you to make errors. They hit the ball really well.”
Henderson went 2-2 with a double and an RBI. Lankford and Miller each had a hit.
On Saturday, the Lady Mavs beat Dekalb County 11-5.
Anderson County scored four runs in the bottom of the first, but Dekalb answered with five in the top of the second to take the lead. The Lady Mavs reclaimed the lead by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning and added four more in the third.
Simpson got the start and the win. She pitched three innings and allowed no earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
“We played an 8 o’clock game Friday night and had to play an 8 o’clock game Saturday morning,” Russell said. “We actually played pretty well. Audrey Lankford had a great weekend at the plate and defensively at shortstop.”
Henderson went 3-3 with an RBI, while Lankford was 2-3 with two runs scored.
Freeman, Hooks, and Simmons each had a hit with two RBI. Bullock was 1-2 with an RBI.
In the finale Saturday, Anderson County fell to Baylor by a score of 3-1.
The Lady Mavs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Freeman doubled to score Lankford.
Baylor scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth and held on in the fifth to get the win.
Simpson took the hard-luck loss. She pitched four innings and allowed one earned run on four hits with three strikeouts.
Freeman went 2-2 with a double and RBI. Lankford was 2-3 with a run scored.
The Lady Mavs will host Fulton for an in-school game on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.