CCHS girls advance to region play with another 2nd-place 7-A finish

lady-dawgs

 

By KEVIN DONALDSON

LEBANON-The Lady Bulldogs were scheduled to play Friendship Christian in Region 4 softball action here on Monday following their second-place finish and region berth in the District 7-A tournament last week.

The Lady Bulldogs won their first two games in the tournament to advance to the finals of the rain-hampered event, but lost a pair of one-run games to top-seeded Red Boiling Springs on Saturday to finish as tourney runnerup for the third year in a row.

The Clay County girls beat Monterey 9-2 in their first game of the tournament, and then topped Jackson County 8-3 in their second game to guarantee themselves a spot in the finals and another trip to region play. CCHS had entered the tournament as the number two seed behind RBS.

Jackson County upset Red Boiling last Monday to send the top seed to the losers bracket, but RBS clawed their way back to the finals, first scheduled to be play on Thursday, but finally played on Saturday evening due to the continuing rain.

Red Boiling beat CCHS 3-2 in Saturday night’s first game, scoring three runs in the first inning and hanging on for the win, and then won the tourney title with a 4-3, extra-inning win in the second game. 

FINALS-1st game

Red Boiling…………..3

Clay County………….2

RBS sent seven hitters to the plate in the first inning, and plated three runs, which wound up being all they would need. 

The Red Boiling pitcher dominated the first few innings, recording eight strikeouts in the first nine outs by CCHS, and nine strikeouts though the first four innings, pitching shutout ball. CCHS began making contact in the fifth inning, though, when the Lady Dawgs scored both their runs.

Chelsea McLerran reached on a bunt single, her second hit of the game, and alertly took second on a deep flyout to right field. She also advanced to third on a passed ball. Rachel Burnette’s single scored McLerran, and Rachel Morris followed with a single, putting runners on first and second.

A throwing error on the next play allowed Burnette to score, cutting the lead to one. CCHS eventually loaded the bases with only one out, but couldn’t push another run across. That wound up settling the issue, as neither team had a serious scoring threat in the final two innings. 

FINALS-2nd game

Red Boiling…………….4

Clay County……………3

CCHS again scored all its runs in one inning–this time the sixth, to eventually send the game into an extra frame–but RBS used single runs in the first and last inning and two runs in the third to take the 7-A title. 

Red Boiling wound up being the home team in this game after a coin flip, and they scored a run in the bottom of the first, after Clay County couldn’t get Haley Wix around after an infield hit in the top of the inning. 

Morris made a fine grab of a liner at second base to keep RBS from scoring more in the first. 

CCHS got another runner on in the second, as McLerran singled with one out, but the Lady Dawgs couldn’t score. 

Red Boiling added two more runs in the third to go up 3-0 as they had in the first game. Clay County threatened in the fifth, as Burnette ripped a double and Morris walked with one out, but they were both stranded. 

Clay finally dented the scoreboard with a nice rally in the sixth, scoring all their runs with two out. Sarah Ogletree doubled with one out, and an infield single by McLerran put runners on first and third. Sydney Roach followed that with an RBI single, and Burnette’s single wound up scoring two runners to knot the score at 3-3.

Katie Kerr singled with two out for CCHS in the seventh, but a sharp line drive was snagged by the Red Boiling third baseman to end the inning.

CCHS survived a big scare in the bottom of the seventh to send the contest to extra innings. Red Boiling loaded the bases after two outs with a walk and a pair of singles, but Morris snared a soft line drive in the hole between first and second to end the inning. 

Clay County threatened in the top of the eighth inning, as Roach and Burnette both singled and then advanced on a passed ball, putting runners at second and third. The Lady Dawgs couldn’t get them home, though, and RBS pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the inning to wrap up the district title. 

WINNERS BRACKET

Clay County……………8

Jackson County……..3

CCHS bounced back from an early deficit and used a five-run fifth inning to beat the Lady Blue Devils Thursday to advance to the finals.

The Lady Dawgs fell behind 2-0 after Jackson County scored single runs in the second and third innings, but CCHS bounced back with a two-spot in their half of the third to knot the score. Roach drove in McLerran with a double and scored on the same play when Jackson County bobbled the ball a couple of times. McLerran had tripled to lead off the inning.

Jackson County retook the lead with a single run in the fifth inning, before Clay County fought back with five runs in the bottom of the inning to take control.

McLerran singled, and took second on an error, and Roach followed with her second hit of the contest. Roach took second on the throw home, putting runners at second and third. Burnette gave CCHS a lead they would never relinquish with a single up the middle, scoring McLerran and Roach to make it 4-3. 

A walk and a Dawg batter being hit by a pitch loaded the bases with one out, and senior Kerr drove another single up the middle to make it 6-3. Sarah Ogletree drove in pinch-runner Emma Ogletree with a groundout to complete the five-run inning and put Clay County up 7-3.

The Lady Dawgs added an insurance run in the sixth when Burnette added another single with two out, and Rachael Morris drove home pinch-runner Renea Morris to end the scoring.

The Lady Blue Devils tried to rally in the seventh, putting two runners on with nobody out, but the Bulldog defense took care of things. With one out, Roach snagged a line drive in center field for the second out, and the Clay defense caught the Lady Devil runner on first off the base to complete a double play and end the game. 

CCHS pitcher Leanna Meadows went the distance to pick up the win in a steady effort.

The Monterey baseball team wrapped up its fifth straight District 7-A title last week, with Jackson County taking the other region berth with its second-place finish.

CCHS advanced to the final four by beating Pickett County in a play-in game, but then lost to Monterey 13-3 to fall into the losers bracket, where they were eliminated by RBS.