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 Hold On To Beat Montgomery Friday, 5-4

The Chattanooga Lookouts (9-13) held off the Montgomery Biscuits (12-9) to earn the 5-4 victory at home in front of 5,025 fans at AT&T Field. Chattanooga's player of the game Mitch Garver, made his presence known early as he led off the second with a double. The bases became loaded after Jake Faria hit TJ White with a pitch and walked Joe Maloney. Leo Reginatto took advantage ... (click for more)

Lee Baseball Falls To No. 17 West Florida

The No. 17 West Florida Argonauts flashed the leather and added timely hits to top the Lee baseball team, 7-5 in Friday evening's series opener. After falling into a three-run deficit the Flames rallied back thanks to a Trent Hill two-run double in the fifth inning. MJ Brown followed the Hill double with an RBI single to tie the game at 5-5.  Lee tallied 12 hits against ... (click for more)

Dewayne Ray Burns Wanted After Firing Shots At Fort Oglethorpe Police Officers

Dewayne Ray Burns is wanted after police in North Georgia were led on a chase, and he fired shots at officers. Burns fired shots in their direction late Thursday night. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department are investigating the incident. According to park rangers on the scene, the Burns ran away, while firing shots in the direction ... (click for more)

5 Considered For Cleveland City Manager Position

Five names were selected  Friday  by a citizens advisory committee to send to the Cleveland City Council for consideration as the next Cleveland city manager. The five are Angie Carrier, Joe Fivas, Mark Reeter, Seth Sumner and Julie Underwood. The list is being sent in alphabetical order so no one has an advantage when the city council considers the candidates. ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Settle It With A Vote

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which I consider a pretty good authority on what words really mean, defines “freedom” in this way:  “The quality or state of being free: such as, (a) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; (b) liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; (c) independence -- the quality or state of being exempt ... (click for more)