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)


No.13 UTC Prepares for No.9 Jax State

“The Jacksonville State defensive front four is as good or better than Central Michigan’s.”   -- UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden. It’s “Whiteout Saturday” at Finley Stadium as Chattanooga hosts its oldest rival in Jacksonville (Ala.) State in a battle of two top 15 nationally ranked FCS teams. Both teams – No.9 Jax ... (click for more)

UTC is No.13 in This Week's Football Poll

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team moved up a spot in the national polls, despite dropping a tough 20-16 battle at Central Michigan last week.  The Mocs are No. 13 in the Sports Network Top-25 and No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll this week.  The No. 13 national mark ties the highest ranking for UTC in the Russ Huesman era (since ... (click for more)

Greg Beck Asking County Commission Chairmanship; Others Seeking Post Behind The Scenes

Long time County Commissioner Greg Beck is seeking the chairmanship of the Hamilton County Commission, he said. Several other commissioners are working behind the scenes to try to get the top commission post. The job opened up after the unexpected defeat of Commission Chairman Fred Skillern in the August primary election. Larry Henry, who has held the chairmanship several ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 4 Injured In 2-Vehicle Crash At Soddy Daisy

One person has died in a wreck Sunday at Soddy Daisy in which four other people were injured. The wreck happened at 12:35 p.m. when a vehicle traveling north struck another vehicle that was pulling onto the highway. A small red truck was badly damaged in the crash. It happened at 12130 Dayton Pike near Tavern Sports Bar and Grille. One person was airlifted, while the ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)