East Hamilton softball coach Cara Stiles hopes that her team got all the jitters out in Tuesday night's 12-6 loss to Chester County.
Playing less than 24 hours later, Stiles' Lady Hurricanes were a different team as their defense played error-free softball and even turned a season-high three double plays in a well-played 2-0 victory over the Greenbrier Lady Cats.
East Hamilton will face the loser of Goodpasture and Unicoi County on Thursday at 11 a.m. Chattanooga time.
The Lady Cats had at least one base runner in each of the first six innings, but senior southpaw Maria Walshe never let a run score as she successfully pitched out of every jam.
Of course, it helped that the Lady Hurricane defense turned in three double plays to help the cause.
"Defense, defense and defense," Stiles said when asked what the key to her team's victory was.
"Our hitting wasn't as good, but our defense was much better today. We're still too tense, but we were more relaxed today than we were on Tuesday. Getting that second run made me feel a lot better.
"I just tried to stay positive after Tuesday's loss as I didn't want to add any more pressure than already existed. We showed improvement in every area of the game, so I don't have a lot to complain about," Stiles added.
Shaliyah Geathers led off the third inning with a single before stealing second. A single by Tori Barnes allowed Geathers to advance to third and she scored on a fly to center that was dropped for an error.
Alyssa Strickler had a one-out single in the seventh and advanced on a single by Geathers. Barnes popped to short for the second out before Kelsey Payne walked to load the bases. An error on a ball to first base by Walshe allowed Strickler to score and that was it for the scoring.
Walshe then retired the side in order for the first time in the seventh to end the game.
Geathers had three hits to lead the East Hamilton attack while Woods had a couple of singles. Barnes, Payne and Strickler all finished with one hit.
The Lady Cats were limited to six hits with nobody having more than one.
Sara Bennett, Taylor Hargrove, Courtney Miles, Katie Bolton, Kaytlin Collins and Layne Hunnicutt all had one hit each and they were all singles.
Despite the season-ending defeat, Greenbrier coach Julie Head was all smiles afterward.
"I guess I could be better, but we had a good year as we won the district and region championships before winning our sectional game," she began.
"Our bats fell off today as we just didn't hit the ball very well and it cost us. I think our inexperience hurt us as we were never able to hit that next gear," she nodded.
Walshe got credit with the victory after tossing the six-hit shutout. She walked one while recording four strikeouts.
Collins was the loser who went the distance, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out six.
East Hamilton 001 000 1 -- 2 8 0
Greenbrier 000 000 0 -- 0 6 2
Walshe and Brooks; Collins and Miles.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)