Lady Dawgs advance to 7-A finals with comeback win


CELINA-The Clay County Lady Bulldog softball team bounced back from an early deficit and used a five-run fifth inning to take an 8-3 win over Jackson County here Thursday afternoon to advance to the finals of the District 7-A tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to play the winner of Thursday evening’s Jackson County-Red Boiling Springs contest on Friday, weather permitting, for the tourney title. A second game in the double-elimination format would be played if necessary.

• ABOVE RIGHT – Rachael Morris slaps one down the third base line •

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. Sydney Roach drove in Chelsea 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. Rachel 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 Katie 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.