McKenzie Stuns CSAS In State Softball Opener

Walk-Off Two-Run Homer The Difference In 2-1 Loss

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - by John Hunt

MURFREESBORO -- CSAS senior Brianna Taylor hurled her third straight one-hitter and fourth of the season, but it's one she'll never forget for all the wrong reasons.

The talented right-hander took a perfect game into the seventh, only to hit the second batter before giving up a two-run homer to senior shortstop Emma Arnold as the Lady Rebels rose from the dead in their final at-bat to advance with the stunning 2-1 victory.

It was a pitching dual between Taylor and Lady Rebel Brooke Baucum, who earned the victory while allowing six hits and three walks.  The only run she allowed came in the fourth inning.  She is now 18-7 while her team is now 22-10.

The Lady Patriots left two runners on in the first, third and fourth innings, but the only big hit came in the fourth when left-fielder Bri'Ana Parker blooped a single past second on a three-one count to drive in Brittany Patmon, who had led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Angela Petulla.

It looked like one run might be enough as Taylor looked strong from the beginning until the end, but the Lady Rebels made their first trip to the state in 16 years a memorable one with the improbable comeback.

"I think these girls just like to make me sweat, but we never gave up and that was the difference," said McKenzie coach Rebecca Jones shortly after the game ended.

"We've been working hard on being more patient in the box and Emma can be impatient at times, but it only takes one inning and one big hit to win a game like this.  I'm really proud of our perseverance and stay-with-it attitude, but this is pretty sweet," Jones added.

Arnold is McKenzie's leading home run hitter.  Tuesday's blast was her sixth of the season, but chances are good that none have been any bigger or on any larger stage.

"I was hoping to get an inside pitch, but it was outside.  I knew when I hit it that it was gone, but I was just looking to get a hit and it turns out that it came at just the right time," she explained with a big smile on her face.

CSAS coach Kaity Holloway certainly couldn't fault Taylor or anybody else on the team for the gut-wrenching defeat.

"Bri had a perfect game going into the seventh and we played great as a team.  I don't think we could have done any more, but we'll just have to come back tomorrow morning ready to play again," she said after her team fell to 25-11-1 for the season.

While Arnold had the only hit for McKenzie, second baseman Victoria Blanton was the only CSAS player with more than one hit and she finished with two bunt singles.

Taylor had an infield single in the first while Parker's run-scoring single came in the fourth.  Mercedes Benn had a two-out single in the sixth.

The Lady Patriots left 11 runners stranded, including the bases loaded in the seventh.

Blanton reached on her second bunt with one out before Kiara Suttles singled to left.  Baucum got Jamani Greer on a liner to second for out two before Brittany Patmon walked to load the bases.  Angela Petulla then grounded hard to first, but Savannah Pratt made a nice defensive play to end the inning without any further damage.

Taylor allowed the one run and two hits while striking out 10 and walking none.

There was one out when Arnold hit her game-winning homer.

The Lady Patriots return to action on Wednesday when they face Columbia Academy at 10 a.m. (CST).  The Lady Bulldogs are now 38-6 following a 3-0 loss to Knoxville Grace.

ARTS & SCIENCES  000 100 0 -- 1 6 0

McKENZIE  000 000 2 -- 2 1 1

Taylor and Suttles; Baucum and Laws.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net



Lee Men, Women Fall 1-0 At Christian Brothers

Thanks to a goal just two minutes into the second half the Christian Brothers Bucs knocked off the Lee men's soccer team, 1-0 on Friday night on a muggy night in West Tennessee. The Buc's Bernado Ferreira set up Brendan Bennett who struck for the game winner at the 46:53 mark. Lee had opportunities to score throughout the match as it generated 11 shots and eight corner ... (click for more)

Flanary & Lowe Take Victories At Crossville Speedway

Bristol, Tennessee's Shon Flanary (# 98) won  Friday's  Brucebilt Performance Iron-Man Modified Series at the Crossville Speedway. Maryville's Jeff Watson was second and Kentucky's Blake Brown (# 99) was third.   Over 25 Open Wheel Modifieds entered the  Friday  night event that moves on to the Smoky Mountain ... (click for more)

Witness Says Morse Told Him "His Emotions Got The Best Of Him" At Triple Killing In Lookout Valley

A witness told a Criminal Court jury on Friday that Derek Morse told him "his emotions got the best of him" at a triple killing in Lookout Valley. Michael Shavers also said Morse told him in detail about the slayings of John "Jake" Lang, Jon Morris and Caleb Boozer and the shooting of Matthew Callan at the Rolling Hills Trailer Park on April 9, 2014. Morse is standing trial ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Calls For "Meaningful Punishment" For Dyer, Brennan In $4.9 Million Swindle

Federal prosecutor James Brooks is calling for a "meaningful sentence" for Doug Dyer and James Brennan, who are charged in a $4.9 million swindle. He rejected arguments that they should receive leniency due to their age and health problems. They are set to be sentenced next Friday at 9 a.m. by Judge Travis McDonough. Prosecutor Brooks said concerning Dyer, "As this Court ... (click for more)

Fix Obamacare, Don't Repeal It

John McCain recently said, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full (Congressional Budget ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: J.B. And The Saturday Funnies

As thousands of his friends prepare to celebrate the 100th birthday of Chattanooga newspaper icon, J.B. Collins, tomorrow, it is only fitting that I publicly salute a great reporter who helped develop me as a writer in the 38 years we spent together at the Chattanooga News-Free Press. He was a genius of a writer back in the day and a great photographer as well. I have adored him ... (click for more)