GPS Loses 5-4 Heartbreaker To Pope John Paul II In D-II Opener

Seventh-Inning Error By Bruisers Opens Door For Lady Knights

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - by John Hunt
- photo by Greg Davick

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Pope John Paul II scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday evening to beat GPS 5-4 in the opening game of the Division II AA state softball tournament  here at the Starplex Field No. 3.

Taylor Battles had an RBI-single in the top of the sixth for the Bruisers to knot the score at 4-4, but the only error of the game by GPS in the seventh proved to be a costly one as the Lady Knights prevailed.

Chelsie Smith grounded to third for the first out before Anna Buchanan lined a single to right that eluded the fielder and rolled to the fence as Buchanan raced to third.

Corey Swafford coaxed Chelsey Stephenson into a come-backer for the second out and it looked like GPS might escape, but Chelsie Fair had other ideas.

Catcher Katy Richardson stood up and called for a pitchout, but Swafford's delivery wasn't far enough outside.  Fair, who had ripped a solo homer in the third, poked a single to right as Buchanan raced  home with the winning run as the Lady Knights exploded toward home plate to celebrate.

"That was fun," said Pope John Paul II coach Jody Brothers after his team had improved to 25-18 overall.

"That's our best all-around game all year.  That was a great job by Anna to get on base before Chelsie got a good pitch and hit it.  Defense and pitching has been our strength this year and we got rewarded tonight for it.

"We've never been in this position before as this was the first time we've ever beaten GPS.  Of course, they won't give us a trophy for winning this game, but we're looking forward to a day off tomorrow.  We lost to GPS 7-0 earlier, but we found a way to win tonight," Brothers added.

GPS coach Susan Crownover was anything but happy with the way her team played.

"That's just one play," she said, referring to the game-winning hit by the Lady Knights.

"Not getting a hit with the bases loaded hurt.  And of course, we have to stop walking people, but Pope John Paul played with a lot of enthusiasm tonight and they wanted it worse than we did.

"This tournament isn't over as tomorrow is another day, but I'm disapppointed.  We didn't play very well as we were uptight, but they deserved to win this game," Crownover added.

The Lady Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first when Chelsie Smith walked and went to second when Buchanan got hit by a pitch.  Smith then stole third and scored when Buchanan stole second and Smith beat the throw home.

Madi Stanley's two-run homer in the second gave GPS a 2-1 edge before a bases-loaded walk to LeeAnn Jackson made it 3-1 in the third.

Fair's two-out homer in the third drew the Lady Knights within 3-2 before Smith gave her team the lead with a two-run homer with two outs in the fourth.

Battle's single in the sixth drove in Stephanie George, who had led off the inning with a double to right-center, to knot the score before Fair's game-winner in the bottom of the seventh.

GPS finished the game with eight hits as Richardson was the Bruiser with two.  The Lady Knights were limited to just five hits, but two were home runs accounting for three runs.  Fair had two hits while Smith, Buchanan and Hannah Nivison all finished with one apiece.

The Lady Knights will be off on Wednesday as they await the winner of the Baylor-St. Benedict game.  GPS will play the loser of that game on Wednesday at 6:30 Chattanooga time.

Girls Preparatory School  021 001 0 -- 4 8 1

Pope John Paul II      101 200 1 -- 5 5 1

Stanley, Swafford (4) and Richardson; Stephenson and Lewis.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net

 


Inaugural Covenant Track And Field Schedule Finalized

The inaugural season of Covenant track and field will begin in February as head coach Katie Stanford has finalized the 2017 schedule. Overall, Covenant will compete in seven events from February until mid-April. "This is an exciting time at Covenant as we start the first-ever track and field season," Ms. Stanford said. "We have a great group of athletes ready to get out on ... (click for more)

UTC Hoops: Notebook: Mocs Top Marshall – The Rivalry is Back

Senior Tre’ McLean scored a career-high 35 points, UTC beat an old rival, Mocs fans (3,064 announced attendance) came out to cheer and support, Toys for Tots folks received lots of gifts for needy kids and all in all it was an excellent night at McKenzie Arena. High-scoring, talented Marshall came to town Tuesday looking for a win and to rekindle a long time rivalry from ... (click for more)

2 Juveniles Arrested For Arson In Sevier County Fires

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in charges being placed against two people in connection with the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.  Last week, at the request of 4 th  District Attorney General ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Already At Work Eliminating Sole Commissioner Post In Walker County; Process To Take 4 Years

Shannon Whitfield is already at work eliminating the position he won by a landslide in the recent election. Mr. Whitfield, who takes over at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1 after a 16-year reign by Bebe Heiskell, noted, however, that it is a four-year process. He said the two House members and local senator are working with him on legislation that must first be approved. That should ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You Can’t Sue You

The Hamilton County School Board will convene an hour earlier tomorrow to discuss “facilities” and the question of the hour is “Which ones?” Several communities are actively studying pulling away from the county’s Department of Education and the stew is thickening by the day. Now comes the revelation that school board attorney Scott Bennett has sent an email to the town of Signal ... (click for more)