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Coalfield, Sunbright and Wartburg play in Rockwood Invitational

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By Taylor Crombie

Coalfield, Sunbright and Wartburg joined nine other area teams in the Rockwood Invitational Tournament at Brillo Miller Complex over the holiday weekend. The Coalfield Lady Jackets went 4-2 and made it to the semifinal round, but were defeated 10-5 by Kingston. Sunbright went 2-2 with wins over Rockwood and Loudon, while Wartburg went 0-4.

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COALFIELD

The Lady Jackets started the tournament with a 4-0 loss to Stone Memorial, but won their next four contests, including their second game against Stone Memorial to reach the semifinals against Kingston. Kingston’s bats were just too hot for Coalfield to handle in the semifinal game, as the Lady Jackets from Roane County pulled out a 10-5 victory to move on to the championship.

After being held to just one hit in the 4-0 loss to Stone Memorial Friday morning, Coalfield defeated Gatlinburg-Pittman 4-1 behind 12 hits. Haley Ratcliffe went 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Mikayla Heidel, Taylor Landrum and Anna Smith all went 2-for-3 at the plate with Heidel and Landrum driving in a run each. Tori Malone gave up three hits, two walks and struck out four batters in the win.

The Lady Jackets’ success at the plate carried over to Saturday morning in their 12-3 win against the Midway Lady Waves. All nine of the Lady Jackets had at least one hit, while Heidel, Malone, Ratcliffe, Carlee Kees and Makenzy Morgan had two hits each. Malone struck out nine and held the Lady Waves to three runs on four hits in the win.

Coalfield drew Loudon in the first round of the championship bracket and came out on top 2-1 to move on to the next round.

Loudon struck first with a run in the second inning, but the Lady Jackets answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. Smith drew a walk to start the inning, then Ratcliffe hit an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out. Morgan grounded out to Loudon’s pitcher, but the throw to first gave Malone, the courtesy runner, time to score from third and tie the game 1-1. Breanna Rich followed up with a single to right field to score what ended up being the game-winning run. Smith gave up six hits, two walks and struck out seven in the win.

The Lady Jackets had a chance to avenge Friday’s loss to Stone Memorial in the second round, and won 4-2. Coalfield struck early this time, with a leadoff single from Heidel that she ended up turning into a run on a wild pitch to give the Lady Jackets a 1-0 lead. Stone Memorial answered in the bottom of the first with a leadoff single, then a double to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Malone got the third batter to ground out, but the run scored from third to tie the game 1-1. Malone got another ground out and a strikeout to end the inning.

Smith kicked off the second inning with a double to center field, then Ratcliffe hit a single allowing Smith to advance to third. Rich drove in both runners with a single to right, but was caught trying to advance to second base to end the inning.

Malone gave up a double to start the bottom of the second, but got the next two batters to ground out. She got behind 0-2 in the count against the next batter, then threw a wild pitch which allowed the runner on third to score, cutting Coalfield’s lead to 3-2.

Heidel doubled to left at the beginning of the third inning, then Malachi Armes reached first on a dropped strike as Heidel advanced to third. Two batters later, Smith singled to center field to drive in Heidel, bringing the final score to 4-2.

Malone gave up four hits, a walk and struck out three in her second start of the day.

The Lady Jackets entered the semifinal round on a four game win streak, but just couldn’t get the job done against Kingston to advance to the championship game. Kingston took a 6-1 lead in the second inning that Coalfield was never able to recover from and won 10-5.

Coalfield struck first with an RBI single from Smith in the top of the first inning. Kingston answered with a huge six-run second inning, but the Lady Jackets came back and made it a one-run game with four runs on RBIs single from Smith and Ratcliffe and an RBI double from Landrum.

Kingston stole the game in the bottom of the third with a two-out, four-run rally to bring the final score to 10-5.

SUNBRIGHT

The Lady Tigers kicked off the tournament with their third victory of the year over Rockwood on Friday. Sunbright took the lead early with three runs in the first inning and four runs in the third with RBI singles from Chelsea Smith, Zoe Carter and Hannah Shannon.

Rockwood tried to come back in the fourth inning and scored two runs with two outs after Paige McDonald led off with a double, but it was too little too late.

Ashlin Trent hit a double and Smith hit a single to drive in two more runs for Sunbright in the bottom of the inning, bringing the final score to 9-2.

Union County proved to be a much tougher opponent for Sunbright and defeated the Lady Tigers 12-1.

Sydney Treadway hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Lady Tigers on the board, but Sunbright couldn’t keep the Lady Patriots off the bases. Union County scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning on a pair of home runs to take the lead, but the Lady Patriots really ran away with the game in the third inning when they scored eight runs before Sunbright could record an out, bringing the final to 12-1.

The Lady Tigers started off hot at the plate Saturday morning, defeating Loudon 8-5 after taking an early lead.

Sunbright went up 6-0 in the first inning behind hits from Skylar Kennedy, Callie Jo Smith, Taylor Cox, Shannon and Treadway. Treadway hit another single in the second inning, but Loudon got out of the inning without allowing anymore runs. The Lady Tigers added two more runs in the third inning on an RBI single from Cox and a sacrifice fly from Kennedy to extend their lead to 8-0.

Loudon attempted to rally in the fourth inning and managed to cut the Lady Tigers’ lead down to three runs, but the game had reached the time limit after Sunbright recorded the last out of the inning, giving the Lady Tigers the 8-5 win.

Sunbright drew Gatlinburg-Pittman in the first round of the championship bracket and lost 9-1. Gatlinburg-Pittman jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and just kept adding on to it.

The Lady Tigers were able to capitalize on a one-out double from Zoe Presley in the third inning, but that was the only run Sunbright would score in the losing effort.

WARTBURG

The Lady Bulldogs finished the tournament 0-4, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Wartburg’s first game of the weekend was against the eventual tournament champion Kingston Lady Jackets. The Lady Bulldogs held Kingston to two runs until the fourth inning, when Kingston scored three runs on a pair of singles and a wild pitch to take a 5-0 lead. Wartburg answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-out RBI single from Madison Holley to put the Lady Bulldogs on the board, but that was the only run they would get. The Lady Jackets’ bats caught fire in the fifth inning as they scored eight runs to defeat Wartburg 13-1.

The Lady Bulldogs faced Harriman for the third time in a week in the afternoon contest. Samantha Velez went deep twice to drive in five runs for Wartburg, but the Lady Bulldogs lost 8-6.

Harriman held a 6-0 lead headed into the bottom of fourth inning and it looked like the Lady Devils were on track to keep Wartburg scoreless. Hamby drew a one-out walk, then Velez hit her first home run of the game over the center field fence to put two runs on the board for Wartburg.

Harriman scored two more runs in the fifth inning, but Wartburg had one more opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. Wartburg drew two walks and Lydia Smith hit a single to load the bases. With Velez at the plate, the runner at third managed to score on a wild pitch. Velez found a pitch she liked and blasted her second home run over the left field fence, driving in three runs. Harriman ended up cutting the Lady Bulldogs’ rally short and got the last out of the inning to defeat Wartburg 8-6.

The Lady Bulldogs had trouble getting their bats going Saturday morning against Oliver Springs. The Lady Bobcats held a 5-0 lead at the end of four innings, while Wartburg left six runners stranded on base. The Lady Bulldogs were finally able to string together some hits to score runs in the top of the fifth inning. Callie Johnson hit a leadoff single, the Allie Aytes drove her in with a double to center field. Alexis Harrison doubled to left, but Aytes was held up at third to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Smith grounded into a double play, but Aytes had time to score from third base. Holley singled to center field to try to keep the rally going, but the Lady Bobcats got a ground out to end the game and pick up the 5-2 win.

Wartburg drew Stone Memorial in the first round of the championship bracket and held a lead for most of the game.

The Lady Bulldogs loaded the bases in the first inning with a single from Johnson, a double from Aytes and Harrison reached base after getting hit by a pitch. Smith grounded into a double play, but Johnson and Aytes had time to reach home plate, giving Wartburg a 2-0 lead. Stone Memorial cut the Lady Bulldogs’ lead in half in the bottom of the inning with a run.

Wartburg added two more runs in the top of the third on a steal of home by Olivia Jones and an RBI double by Smith.

Stone Memorial answered in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of runs to make it a one-run game. Aytes drew a walk and Smith was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning, but the Lady Bulldogs were unable to do anything with the runners.

Wartburg gave up four base hits in bottom of the inning, allowing the tying run the cross the plate. The Lady Bulldogs could have got out of the inning with a double play, but an error at first base allowed Stone Memorial to score one more run and with the game 5-4.