It's been a roller coaster season for the Central Lady Pounder softball team with a lot of highs and just as many lows. They went through a stretch in the middle when they played horrible defense and won very little for a couple of weeks.
But as the season neared the end, the Lady Pounders won a bunch of big games, including winning the District 6-AA and Region 3-AA title.
Unfortunately, their bid for a spot in next week's state tournament came up a game short as the visiting DeKalb County Tigerettes advanced with the 2-0 victory.
With the win, DeKalb is now 40-6 while Central's season ends at 20-22.
"We made some mistakes early that hurt, but we hit the ball hard. We just couldn't find a hole," said Central coach LeeAnne Shurette after the game once the Central dugout had cleared out.
"I really thought that we were the better team, but DeKalb played great defense. I think we were a little nervous at first and maybe we tried too hard, but we fought all the way to the very end. What happens on a softball field doesn't define us as individuals.
"But we never quite got it going today. Brooke pitched a great game. The sad part is that we get to do it again next year while the two seniors are finished. Britney Sylvester and Chasidy Ainslie have been wonderful leaders as they really stepped up, but I'm just sorry for them that it's over," Shurette added.
The Tigerettes scored a run in the first inning while adding another in the fifth.
Danielle Tyson reached on an error to lead off the game and scored when Tyra Graham reached on another bad throw.
Then in the fifth, Shauna Taylor reached when she got hit by a pitch to lead off and was replaced by courtesy runner Hannah Panter. Loren Cripps reached on Central's third error while Tyson's bunt single loaded the bases. Graham popped to second for the first out while Katie Hall drove in the second run with a groundout to second.
That was all the support that freshman Kayley Caplinger needed. She finished with a two-hitter and four strikeouts.
Chasity Ainslie had Central's first hit with two outs in the second while Britney Sylvester led off the fifth with a double. Both were stranded as Caplinger got the necessary outs at the most critical times.
Tigerette coach Danny Bond probably wasn't feeling too good when his girls got beat at Sequatchie County Thursday night, but he was in a much better mood on Friday.
"I feel pretty good," he began with a smile.
"It's hard to come down here and win. The ball found us today as we were in the right spots on defense. You've got to be happy any time you win at this stage and advance to the state.
"Central has an outstanding team, but we were able to find a couple of holes early and that was the difference in the game," Bond nodded.
Central's Brooke Parrott was tough-luck loser after allowing just three hits, including two by Tyson and a leadoff double by Caplinger in the second. She didn't walk anyone and finished the game wth six strikeouts.
DEKALB CO. 100 010 0 -- 2 3 0
CENTRAL 000 000 0 -- 0 2 3
Caplinger and Meadows; Parrott and Sylvester.
(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)