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


Moran Wins 46th PGA Tennessee Professional Championship

MORAN CAPTURES 46th PGA TENNESSEE PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP KNOXVILLE – Scott Moran of Knoxville, TN, winner of the Tennessee Section PGA Professional Championship, Aug. 18-20 at Holston Hills Country Club will lead six Section PGA Professionals to compete in the 48th PGA Professional National Championship, June 21-24, 2015, at The Philadelphia Cricket Club.  Moran turned ... (click for more)

Lookouts Hanging Tough As Season Nears End

Although they have an up-hill climb to make the playoffs, the Lookouts are not quitters. Currently tied for second in the SL North Division, the Lookouts are 3.0 games behind the Tennessee Smokies. The Smokies and Lookouts will end the season with a five-game series at AT&T Field beginning August 28. Chattanooga beat the Barons in their series finale by a score of 6-4 ... (click for more)

Boy, 16, To Face Murder Charges In Criminal Court On Triple Lookout Valley Slayings

A Lookout Valley youth who was 15 at the time of his alleged involvement in a massacre in the valley will stand trial as an adult. Jacob Allison, who is now 16, was taken by the sheriff's office to the Hamilton County Jail after a transfer hearing in Juvenile Court on Friday morning. Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw said under state law he has jurisdiction over rehabilitation ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s ‘Pay It Forward’

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, this at a Starbucks coffee store located at 2186 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Fla.,  an unidentified woman who was first in line at the drive-through window, politely told the drive-through window clerk she would like to “pay it forward.” The clerk checked the next order – it was a caramel macchiato – and the first customer paid for both her ... (click for more)