East Hamilton Loses Class AA Softball Opener, 12-6

Payne Homers Twice, But Chester Co. Prevails In Slugfest

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

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. --East Hamilton picked a terrible time to play their worst softball game of the season.

The Lady Hurricanes have a productive offense and collected 10 hits en route to scoring six runs.

Unfortunately, the defense didn't do its part as they committed seven errors, which was one of the biggest reasons East Hamilton went straight to the losers bracket after dropping a 12-6 verdict to the Chester County Eaglettes.

"I'm really disappointed as we basically beat ourselves," said East Hamilton coach Cara Stiles after her team dropped to 25-13-2 for the season.

"The good news is that we're still here, but we just made a very long road for ourselves.  That was our best chance to stay in the winners bracket and we just played our worst game of the year.  Just so happens that it comes at the most important time.

"We hit the ball well enough to win and Maria Walshe pitched well enough to win, but we were just guessing at the plate.  We weren't attacking on offense like we should have been.  They didn't earn that win as much as we gave it to them," Stiles said after admitting that Friday was her 28th birthday.

Chester County took a 1-0 lead in the second before East Hamilton regained the advantage in the third when Kelsey Payne slugged a three-run homer.

The Eaglettes then took the lead for the final time with five runs in the fourth.  Two more scores in the fifth extended the difference to 8-3 while a four-run sixth basically put the game out of reach.

While Payne was the early hero, Tori Barnes drove in the fourth run in the fifth.  Her single to left, drove in Maggie Woods, who had led off the inning with a double.  Payne followed with a single before Walshe reached on a bunt single.  Payne went to third on a fielder's choice by Amber Phillips before scoring on a wild pitch.

Chester County's four-run sixth was highlighted by a three-run homer just inside the foul pole in left by pitcher Sammie Jo Ivey.

With the Lady Hurricanes down by seven runs in their final at-bat, Payne slugged her second homer -- a solo shot to right -- to conclude the scoring before Ivey ended the game with her 12th strikeout.

"East Hamilton has a great hitting team, but we just took advantage of their mistakes tonight," said Chester County coach Brandon Pipkin after his team improved to 29-12.

"Take away all of their errors and we still have a close game.  But we're playing our best softball right now and we've been hitting it well lately.  Sammie Jo is a grinder who normally doesn't get down on herself.  She didn't have her best game today, but it was good enough," he added.

The Eaglettes finished with 14 hits, including two each by Madison McCaskill, Presley Beth Robinson, Cynthia Beene, Jana Frye and Ivy.  Presley included a two-run homer while McCaskill's big blow was a three-run double in the fourth.

Payne had three hits to lead the Lady Hurricanes and scored three times while driving in four runs.  Shaliyah Geathers and Woods both had two hits while Barnes, Walshe and Rachel Gamble all finished with one apiece.

Chester County will face Gibbs on Wednesday afternoon while East Hamilton is slated to face Greenbrier on Wednesday morning at 12:30 Chattanooga time.

The weather forecast isn't very promising as heavy rain is predicted for most of the day Wednesday.

East Hamilton   003 020 1 -- 6 10 7

Chester Co.      010 524 x -- 12 14 0

Walshe and Brooks; Ivy and Robinson.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


This Day In Baseball History, May 23.

1935 The first-ever scheduled major league night game is rained out in Cincinnati, but the team will face the Phillies tomorrow night. The Reds will play eight evening contests this season, including one against every club in the National League. 1948 Yankees' slugger Joe DiMaggio hits three consecutive home runs, the first two off future Hall of Famer Bob Feller. The trio ... (click for more)

Dalton State Golfer Sean Elliott Is 1st-Team All-American

Sean Elliott of Dalton State has been named as one of 10 First-Team All-Americans in men’s golf. He is the fifth NAIA All-American for the first year of intercollegiate eligibility for Roadrunner teams.  Women’s golfer Julia McQuiken and men’s golfer Ladaris Green had previously been named first-team All-American, while Caroline Griffin for golf and Sean Tate for ... (click for more)

Winning Bid For Huge River Tract Near Dayton Is $4,370,000, But Sellers Not Willing To Accept

A huge tract on the Tennessee River/Chickamauga Lake near Dayton, Tn., brought $4,370,000 at auction at the site on Saturday. However, the auction firm later said the high bid was not accepted by the sellers, John and Edyth Buxton. Henry Glascock of the John Dixon firm auction firm said, "It was a gorgeous piece of property, but we just didn't quite get there. "We had a willing ... (click for more)

Olympian Kristin Armstrong Sets Course Record; Talansky Is Men's Winner

Two-time Olympic goal medal winner Kristin Armstrong won the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championship in a record time at the Volkswagen course on Saturday morning. She finished the 19.2-mile course in 42 minutes, 8 seconds. The time trial victory assures the 41-year-old Armstrong of a spot as one of three American women to compete in the world championship time trial ... (click for more)

Shame On The Housing Authority - And Response

With Chattanooga and other cities around the nation struggling to find solutions to chronic homelessness it's cruel to evict families likely with children over a fight.   When you evict the adults you're also evicting any and all children in the household.  Intelligence would dictate looking for a root cause. Compassion would dictate looking for alternatives. Both ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)