Central Rolls Past Grace In Softball Opener, 12-1

Lady Pounders Collect 16 Hits In Support Of Ainslie

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - by John Hunt

The Grace Academy Lady Golden Eagle softball team reached the summit last spring when they won the Class A state title in Murfreesboro, but they've replaced several key seniors with four starters who are eighth graders and their youthfulness was evident Tuesday afternoon in the season opener against Central.

Granted, Central has a pretty good team as they are veterans at the plate, but they made it look especially easy at Grace as they collected 16 hits en route to a 12-1 five-inning victory.

Central has three seniors on its team and they're the first three hitters in the lineup.  Coach LeeAnne Shurette has put them there for a reason as she knows they are the sparkplugs behind Central's offense.

That was certainly the case on Tuesday.

Shortstop Brook Womack is the ring leader who leads off.  She made life miserable for the Lady Golden Eagles as she reached base all four times up and scored three runs.

Leftfielder Brooke Eller bats second.  She was equally as effective as she had three straight hits in four at-bats and finished with three runs scored.

Catcher Hannah Powell is third and is probably the strongest hitter on the team.  She only had one hit, but she drove in three runs and hit a couple of foul balls that would have been long home runs had they stayed fair.

The Lady Pounders didn't waste any time taking charge in this one as they scored three times in the first before adding three more in the second. 

A six-run fourth was the back breaker as 11 Lady Pounders came to bat.  Womack had a pair of doubles as Central had five hits in the inning, including a two-run single by Lexie Ainslie.

Losing pitcher Maddy Horton drove in the only run for Grace with a third-inning double.  Sierra Nunley led off with a bunt single and went to second when Stephanie Hernandez walked before scoring on Horton's line shot to left.

Winning pitcher Chasidy Ainslie allowed four hits while walking two and allowing the one run.  She appeared to get stronger as the game progressed as she retired the final six Grace hitters in order.

"I'm just glad we got to play today after the way it rained on Monday," said Shurette after the game was called in five innings.

"A lot of people contributed today, but we came out and were aggressive at the plate. We had to make a few adjustments, but that worked out well too, but I thought that Chasidy pitched a good game.  She appeared to get stronger the longer she pitched.

"Those first three are my only seniors and they do a great job getting on base and making things happen, but it's nice to get this first game behind us," she added.

Grace coach Tina Walker knows that the process is starting all over for her and her team, but she has total confidence that all will be fine eventually.

"We're really young as we're starting all over again with four eighth graders starting.  Our number one pitcher Tori Helton is hurt, but Maddy does the best she can.

"As long as they keep improving, we'll be fine. I have all the confidence in the world in them, but they have to develop a little confidence in themselves.

"Central is a really good hitting team and they proved it today, but we'll be fine," Walker added.

Womack's three hits were tops for Central while Eller, Chasidy Ainslie and Britney Sylvester all had two apiece.

Alex Smith was the only Grace player with two hits while Horton's double and Nunley's bunt single were the other two.

Both teams return to action on Thursday with Central hosting defending D-II state champ Baylor.  Grace takes on Brainerd at Warner Park.

Central    330 60 -- 12 16 0

Grace      001 00 -- 1 4 4

Ainslie and Powell; Horton and Brittany Mc.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Lookouts Shutout Blue Wahoos Thursday, 3-0

Chattanooga Lookouts outfielder Max Kepler homered twice and starting pitcher Jason Wheeler (W, 2-2) hurled eight shutout innings to lead the team to the 3-0 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos . The win was Chattanooga's 11th shutout of the season.  From first pitch of tonight's game Wheeler was dominant. The left-hander retired the first six batters before allowing his ... (click for more)

Gregory, White Voted To Class 4A Preseason All-State Team

Hixson's Brody Gregory and Sequoyah's Aaron White have been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Preseason Class 4A All-State team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Gregory, an offensive lineman, and White, a kicker, were the only Chattanooga-area players voted to the team. Offense Pos       Name ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

The Silence Is Deafening - And Response

In this week’s news cycle we have the international uproar over the killing of Cecil the lion. In the same time most national news outlet refuse to even mention the undercover videos of so call doctors and technicians discussing the harvesting, processing and sale of human baby body parts.  The argument by those liberal, progressive Democrats has been that the “fetus” was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)