Baylor Softball Defeats GPS, 4-0

Lady Red Raiders Win 11th Straight Behind Kayla Hughes

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - by John Hunt

The Baylor Lady Red Raider softball team may have the best hitting lineup in town as they have the ability to score a lot of runs in a hurry.

They also have pretty good pitching and better than average defense.  Those last two factors came into play Tuesday afternoon at GPS where Baylor won for the 11th straight game with a 4-0 victory.

The Lady Raiders only had seven hits for the day and only one went for extra bases.  That double by Noelle Winkles came with two on in the third inning and it was just a blooper behind third past a drawn-in infield.

But in a game that was a key region contest between two teams that have been bitter rivals for many years, Baylor proved they can win by doing more than hitting home runs and long smashes against the fence.

"I hate to use that old cliché that you hear so often, but that was a really good team effort for us today.  Kayla and Haley were fantastic and we also played flawless defense.  We just played a good, solid fundamentally sound softball game," said Baylor coach Kelli Smith after her team had improved to 14-1 and 1-0 in region play.

"This is always a big rivalry game, but it's more than that we neither of us want to travel at the end of the season.  We didn't have any long balls today, but we made great decisions on the bases and that was important.  And I'm pleased that we were able to use some of our players off the bench," Smith added.

Sophomore righty Kayla Hughes was another key to Baylor's win.  She scattered five hits and walked one while finishing the day with four strikeouts.

There was only one inning where the Bruisers had more than one baserunner and that was the fourth where Hannah Kincer drew a one-out walk.  Taylor Battle blooped a single to right one out later, but the inning ended when Stephanie George lined to Crosby Huckabay at first.

Bailey Davenport had a leadoff single in the first while Haley Smith had a one-out single in the third.  Battle's single came in the fourth while Davenport had another single with two outs in the fifth.  Battle had her second single to lead off the seventh, but GPS again was unable to get another hit with somebody on.

"My changeup was my best pitch today, but I knew I needed to hit my spots," said Hughes after improving to 7-1 for the season.

"I also knew that I wanted to make them have bad contact, but I have a great defense behind me and that always helps.  And getting those three runs in the third was nice," Hughes nodded.

GPS senior Madi Stanley was the starting pitcher for the Bruisers.  She pitched pretty well for the most part, but her downfall came in the third when she issued leadoff walks to Shelby Ellis and Cheyenne Lindsay.

Precious Birdsong dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt to put Ellis and Lindsay in scoring position before Winkles drove in the first run with her bloop double.  Haley Andrus lined a sharp single to left to drive in the second run while Lauren Lewis flied to right for the second out as Winkles raced home.

Three runs may have have been enough for Hughes, but the Lady Raiders added one more run in the sixth for good measure as A.J. Johnson came off the bench to single in Madison Mathis, who was pinch-running for Andrus, who had led off with her second single of the day.

GPS coach Susan Crownover certainly doesn't believe in moral victories, but she appeared happy with the way her team battled.

"We didn't hit it well enough to win, but both Madi and Shelby pitched really well today," said the veteran coach as she complimented Stanley and eighth-grader Shelby Walters, who pitched the final three innings.

"I thought we did a great job of holding them down as they have a powerful lineup with some outstanding hitters.  The only problem is that we couldn't get the big hit when we needed it the most.  We swung at a lot of bad pitches, but at least we kept them in the park today.  The last time we played, they only had five hits, but three of them were home runs.

"We just have to learn how to score some runs in a big game like this and today, we didn't," Crownover nodded after her team dropped to 7-3 overall and 0-1 in region play.

Winkles, Andrus and Lewis all had two hits for Baylor while Davenport and Battle both had two hits for GPS.

While Hughes was the winning pitcher, Stanley took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in four innings.  She finished with seven strikeouts and two walks.  Walters allowed the one run on four hits in three innings while walking none.

The  Bruisers return to action on Wednesday afternoon with a home game against East Hamilton while Baylor will host CSAS on Thursday before hosting the Hits For Hope tournament on Friday and Saturday at Warner Park.

BAYLOR  003 001 0 -- 4 7 0

GPS   000 000 0 -- 0 5 1

Hughes and Andrus; Stanley, Walters and Hobbs.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)  


Mocs Block Tailgate Highlights New Student Initiatives At Finley Stadium

Over the last three years, Finley Stadium has become one of the toughest places in the country for FCS opponents.  The Chattanooga Mocs are 15-3 overall, have won 12 straight Southern Conference games at home and led the league in attendance the last two seasons. A major part of this success has been the support from the UTC student body.  As a result, the Athletics ... (click for more)

Harrison's Hufstetler Fourth In State Senior Amateur

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. -- Germantown's Tim Jackson shot 3-under 69 here Tuesday and took the lead in the 46th Tennessee Senior Amateur Championship. Jackson's Danny Green and Clarksville's Greg Guinn are tied for second at 1-under 71 after the first round. Knoxville's Jeff Golliher and Mitch Hufstetler from Harrison are tied for fourth. Chattanooga's Neil Spitalny took the ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Orders Walker County To Pay Erlanger $8,705,000, Plus Interest; Question Of Attorney Fees And Expenses To Go To Jury

Federal Judge Harold Murphy, in a 63-page ruling handed down Tuesday, ordered Walker County, Ga., to pay the Erlanger Health System $8,705,000, plus interest, on the Hutcheson Hospital debt. Judge Murphy, of Rome, Ga., said the question of attorney fees and expenses owed Erlanger by Walker County should be decided by a jury trial. Walker County and Catoosa County earlier agreed ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Problems With The Proposed Apartments In Lookout Valley

I am deeply troubled at the way in which this proposal has been handled. The blatant disregard for the residents of Kelly's Ferry Road and the wishes of the Lookout Valley Area Plan (which was adopted by the city in 2003) by Chip Henderson and Tommy Austin amazes me. Yes, there was a meeting of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood association in August, but it wasn't on its normal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)