A potential substate clash awaited the Lady Blue Devil softball team during the final day of the 30th annual Tiny Day/Red Edmonds Memorial softball tournament on Sunday, April 24, in Greeneville.
Unicoi County High School jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but CAK pitcher Allison Zimmerman pitched a solid evening, while adding a three-run home run to propel the Lady Warriors to a 4-1 win in the Gold Division. The loss ended the Lady Devils’ bid of repeating as Tiny Day champions.
While the end result wasn’t ideal, UCHS (27-14, 8-3) provided a better showing against the Knoxville crew who denied the ladies a trip to Murfreesboro last season. Rylee Stiltner, Haley Peterson and Ashley Edwards each had hits in the contest for the Lady Devils. Sophomore Halie Padgett was thrown into the fire and provided the necessary juice to get her team over the hump, but Zimmerman was able to get ahold of the ball in the top of the fourth to seal the deal for the team.
Mother Nature threw a monkey wrench into plans for the Tiny Day, canceling games that were supposed to take place on Friday, April 22. UCHS was able to make their two games count on Saturday, April 23, ending the evening with a 10-1 win over Tennessee High.
Center fielder Tanya Chavez went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and catcher Halie Hawkins went 2-for-2 with an RBI to help the Lady Devils come out on top. Cassi Foster, Peterson, Edwards and Stiltner each drove in runs to pace the attack. Pitcher Abby Hensley allowed just one run off five hits and struck out four batters.
The Lady Devils opened Tiny Day action Saturday with a dominant 6-1 contest over Cocke County.
UCHS first baseman Neelee Griffith drove in four runs, adding a monster home run in the fifth, to pace the offense. Ashlie Padgett and Foster added two hits in the victory. Foster and Hawkins also drove in two runs. H. Padgett scored the win in the circle, striking out five batters.
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UCHS retained second place inside the Three Rivers Conference on Thursday, April 21, with a 15-0 shutout over Sullivan North in Kingsport.
Edwards knocked in her first home run of the year and finished the contest, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs. Peterson added a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Hawkins and Stiltner each drove in two runs, while Chavez and A. Padgett added two hits each.
The Lady Devils accounted for 14 hits while Hannah Bowen tossed a master performance, earning the victory by allowing just three Golden Raider hits.
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It was a solid performance inside the circle for H. Padgett against the Lady Patriots.
The Lady Devil pitcher went the distance to help her squad pick up an 8-1 victory over Sullivan East on Tuesday, April 19, in Bluff City.
With a 15-hit performance under their belts, UCHS received some separation in the league chase, staying in second place.
Peterson and Chavez got the team rolling early in the second inning with a 2-0 lead thanks to a bit of small ball and timely base running. After scratching across runs in the third and fourth, the bats came alive for Lingerfelt’s crew.
Back-to-back hits from Hensley and A. Padgett put runners in scoring position for Griffith’s 2-RBI double. Griffith later scored on a wild pitch, while Chavez scampered across again off Sullivan East miscues. Griffith and Chavez led the bats for UCHS, going 3-for-4. A. Padgett, H. Padgett and Hawkins smacked two hits. While H. Padgett had the bat in her favor, she gave up five hits and struck out six batters from the circle.
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Sullivan South made things interesting early, but UCHS was able to revive the bats to repel any upset bid.
The Lady Devils trailed 3-0 through the first four innings, but used an eight-run fifth to pick up a 12-5 triumph on Monday, April 18, in Colonial Heights.
Foster went 3-for-4 to lead the 15-hit parade. Hawkins, A. Padgett, Chavez, Edwards added two hits each. Hensley picked up the win.
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UCHS wraps up the regular season this week with home games against conference foes. The Lady Devils hosted Sullivan South on Tuesday, April 26, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline, and will end the stretch with a key bout against Happy Valley on Thursday, April 28, at 5 p.m.
The District 1-AA tournament is scheduled to begin Thursday, May 5, at Sullivan South. No brackets were announced prior to The Erwin Record’s press deadline.