It only took Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans 65 minutes on Monday night to earn a berth in next week’s Region 3-AAA high school softball tournament.
Playing in the District 5 tournament at Clifford Kirk Stadium, Soddy-Daisy defeated rival Ooltewah, 1-0, in the winners bracket final.
In another losers bracket game Monday, Walker Valley defeated McMinn County.
Tuesday’s schedule: 5 – Rhea County vs.
Walker Valley, losers bracket; 7 – Ooltewah vs. Rhea-Walker Valley winner, losers bracket final.
The championship game will be played Wednesday night at 6, with an if-necessary game to follow if Soddy-Daisy (38-4) loses.
SODDY DAISY 1, OOLTEWAH 0: University of Kentucky signee Kelsey Nunley fired a three-hitter and struck out 12.
“For the most part I did OK,’’ Nunley said. “I don’t know why I was throwing high.
“Still, I’m not worrying about what it looks like as long as we win. We’re just looking at W’s right now.’’
Said Soddy-Daisy coach Clifford Kirk on Nunley’s effort, “I’ll take it. She was pumped tonight. She got a little high, and we’ll work on that tomorrow.’’
The game’s only run came in the bottom of the second when Haley Reynolds led off with a single. After two outs, Jessica Boles laced a single into left field. When the ball got through, pinch-runner Brooke Hale scored from first on a two-base error.
“This was a big win,’’ Kirk said. “We’re in the region. This is the one we wanted. Now we just need to win Wednesday so we can play at home next week.’’
Cassidy Hackney had Soddy-Daisy’s only other hit off Ooltewah ace Taylor Baird, who struck out six.
"Baird really pitched well tonight,'' Kirk said.
Ooltewah’s three hits were singles from Allie Jones, Katelyn Bowen and Abby Daniels.
Ooltewah (27-10) had runners on first and second in the second, but Nunley struck out three straight. In the top of the seventh, the Lady Owls had runners on first and second with one out, but Nunley came through with a strikeout and a game-ending popup to the mound.
Ooltewah…………000 000 0 – 0 3 1
Soddy-Daisy……..010 000 x – 1 3 1
Baird and Daniels; Nunley and Bailey.
(E-mail Stan Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org)