No Offense, But Defense Dominates For Baylor

Lady Red Raiders Rally To Beat GPS, 5-3

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - by John Hunt

If you don't think outstanding defense will win softball games, then you should have been at Baylor Tuesday afternoon.

The Lady Red Raiders have one of the best hitting teams in the state as they beat a lot of good teams with power at the plate.

They had to depend on the defense against arch-rival GPS on Tuesday, but it came through when the bats did not.

Baylor was limited to just two hits on the afternoon as GPS starting pitcher Madi Stanley was in total control. Unfortunately, she was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs as Baylor improved to 33-3 overall with the 5-3 victory.

And while GPS had eight hits for the game, the big question of "what if?" came into play as the Bruisers left a dozen runners stranded, including the bases loaded in the third and sixth innings.

GPS threatened all afternoon, but the Baylor defense kept them from scoring more than they did.

Bailey Davenport walked to lead off the game and went to second on a sacrifice by Kelby Crownover.  Stanley ripped a line single to center and Davenport made the turn at third and raced for home, only to be thrown out at the plate by Lady Raider Noelle Winkles in center.

Then in the top of the seventh with Baylor holding on by a thread with a 5-3 advantage, GPS again loaded the bases with nobody out.

Stanley led off with a walk and was replaced by courtesy runner Izzy Phillips.  Taylor Battle singled before Baylor starter Kayla Hughes was replaced by freshman Cayley Quinn.

Stephanie George reached on an infield single to load the sacks before Shelby Walters ripped a shot to center.  Winkles made the catch and then her second assist of the game when she nailed Phillips at the plate for Baylor's second double play of the game.

Baylor catcher Kamrie Rich, who is only an eighth grader, made both plays at the plate and was one of the leaders of the outstanding defensive effort.

Abbey Anderson then grounded out to third to end the game.

Baylor scored its first run in the second when Stanley issued four of her eight walks.  The last one went to Winkles to drive in A.J. Johnson.

The Lady Raiders made it 2-0 in the fifth when Lauren Lewis hit a towering solo homer to left for Baylor's first hit.

GPS finally broke through in the top of the sixth.

Stanley led off with her second hit of the day before Battle walked.  George reached on a Baylor error to load the bases before Anderson drove in the first run with a single to left.  Davenport flied to left for the second out before Crownover lined a shot into the gap in left-center to drive in the next two to put the Bruisers up 3-2.

Baylor knotted the score in the bottom of the sixth when Johnson got hit by a pitch with one out.  The speedy freshman promptly stole second and third before scoring on a wild pitch.

Pinch hitter Maya Mathis and Precious Birdsong both walked before Winkles drove in the game-winning runs with a double to left-center.

Winkles then came back just a few minutes later to save the day with another perfect throw to the plate.

"I don't think I've ever had two assists in the same game, especially in such a big game like this one," Winkles said after the game ended.

"The game would have been closer had the girl scored from third, but she got a late jump that gave me a chance.  You always want to win on Senior Night," Winkles, one of five Baylor seniors honored before the game, added.

This is the fourth time Baylor has beaten their arch-rival and they've all been close games that went down to the wire.  GPS coach Susan Crownover is just waiting for the day when things end favorably for her team.

"Maybe one of these days," she began.

"We've outhit them two or three times this year, but we can't seem to finish like we should.  We fought hard and played with a lot of intensity.  We gave it all we had and I certainly have no complaints about our effort, but the strike zone was tight for both teams.

"That was a rope that Kelby hit in the sixth and I felt pretty good at the time, but we just couldn't hold them off.  Baylor has another outstanding team and that's why all of those seniors are going to Division One schools next year to play softball," she added.

Baylor coach Kelli Smith was just happy that her girls were able to prevail and she was especially glad that Winkles came through like she did.

"Noelle was simply amazing.  I've always said that good defense wins games, but she made two incredible throws from center, including that double play in the seventh," Smith said after her team had won for the 18th straight game.

"It was rough for a while, but it was great to see a senior like Noelle come through.  It was also good to see Cayley Quinn come off the bench and do her job as well.  Madi Stanley pitched a great game.

"We beat GPS in the Hits for Hope tournament with only three hits, so I know it can be done, but again, I'm really proud of our defense.  They played solid today," Smith nodded.

Stanley and George were the only GPS players with two hits.

While the double play in the seventh was huge for both teams, Baylor had another twin-killing in the second when Walters lined to shortstop Shelby Ellis, who then stepped on second for the unassisted DP.

GPS  000 003 0 -- 3 8 0

BAYLOR  010 013 x -- 5 2 2

Stanley, Walters (6) and Richardson; Hughes, Quinn (7) and Rich.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net


Sue Webb is New Tennis Director at Fairyland Club

Former UTC All-American and college and high school tennis coach Sue Webb has been hired as the director of tennis at Fairyland Club on Lookout Mountain. “I am thrilled to be back at Fairland as it feels like going home,” said an excited Webb who was the tennis director at Fairland Club from 1990-2003 before coaching at Chattanooga Christian and then Covenant College. ... (click for more)

Stolz Earns No. 2 Seeding In State Match Play

KNOXVILLE -- UT-Martin senior Brendon Caballero from Brentwood earned the No. 1 seeding for the round of 16 in the Tennessee Match Play Tournament here Friday at the Holston Hills Country Club. Caballero shot 131 (64-67) for the No. 1 seeding. Chattanooga's Zac Stolz at 133 earned the No. 2 seeding. The quarterfinals and semifinals will take place Saturday with the final on ... (click for more)

One Of Oldest Log Homes At University Of The South Suffers Heavy Fire Damage

The oldest log home at the University of the South at Sewanne suffered heavy damage on Friday night. Fire broke out at the historic Rebel’s Rest at approximately 11:30 p.m. Fire units arrived a short time later, but flames were shooting high in the air. Rebel's Roost was built as the family home of Major George Fairbanks a year after the close of the Civil War. The house ... (click for more)

Corker Says Congress Needs Time To Review Plan For VA Reforms

As negotiations between the Senate and the House of Representatives over legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continue,  Senator Bob Corker urged that lawmakers have the opportunity to review a complete Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on any final conference VA bill before taking a vote. “Our veterans deserve solutions to the systemic problems ... (click for more)

Voters Deserve The Truth About Tennessee Supreme Court Justices

I am an experienced trial lawyer, and, frankly, I am dismayed with the negative advertisements and mailers about three of our Tennessee Supreme Court Justices.  These mailers talk about the Justices being liberal and tie them to Obamacare.  Clearly, this propaganda attempts to focus attention away from the Justices themselves to political subjects sensitive to many Tennesseans. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)