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Wright returns, goes 4-4, including grand slam

It wasn’t too shabby of a welcome back party for Lady Blue Devil first baseman Taylor Wright.
After missing her junior season due to injury, Wright finished 4-4 at the plate with six RBIs, a grand slam and solo home run in Unicoi County High School’s 18-0 shutout against Sullivan North on opening day at Lady Devil Diamond on Tuesday, March 10.
The Lady Blue Devils (2-0) capped off last week’s slate of games with a 6-5 thriller against Johnson County on Thursday, March 12, in Mountain City.
“I really wanted to get to play today,” head coach Grady Lingerfelt said after their opener on Monday, March 10, was canceled. “I thought the weather was going to delay us, but I was glad we were able to get it in because there was a chance we might not get another in with the way the weather looks for this week.”
UCHS knocked around 22 hits in the victory and started off the season the way the team wanted, according to Wright.
“We figured if we started off right, we could end right,” she said. “We all believe in each other. I felt like we started off the season with a bang and we got our confidence back where it needs to be. We all rely on each other and trust in each other now and I think it’s going to be a good season.”
Taylor Smith and Abby Hensley each had three hits and finished with two RBIs.
Hannah Keasling, Neelee Griffith, and Cierra Jackson, also finished with two RBIs.
Shortstop Haley Webb and catcher Destinie Hayes also knocked in a run each. Savannah Lafever, Megan Gray, Keelie Hall, Cadie Caudle, Ashlie Padgett and Haley Peterson all made appearances in the game.
Hensley also brought the mojo in the circle, recording the perfect game with eight strikeouts against North.
“Abby did a really good job with location,” Lingerfelt said. “She didn’t walk anybody, didn’t give up a hit; she’s a good pitcher.”
With the season now underway, some season opening jitters are gone, Hensley said.
“We’re all calm now,” she added. “We’re just ready to win the season, make it to the state and go for our goals. It’s great to get the win tonight and have the defense backing me up like they did.”
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The Lady Blue Devils took the Lady Longhorns’ best shot on Thursday, but a two-out, two-run home run by Jackson in the top of the fifth gave UCHS a 6-4 lead and go-ahead momentum to score the victory.
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UCHS opened this week with a road trip to Johnson City to face University High School on Wednesday, March 18.
The Lady Blue Devils cap off the varsity stretch of the schedule on Thursday, March 19, with a home contest against Elizabethton at Lady Devil Diamond.
The junior varsity team will compete in and host the annual Peavy’s Signs and Designs underclassmen tournament set for March 20-21.