Silverdale had beaten Chattanooga Christian by a 7-0 final in a softball game at CCS a few weeks ago, but the Lady Chargers were hoping to turn the tide after allowing just two earned runs in that earlier game.
Things didn’t turn out as planned for the Lady Chargers Thursday evening at Silverdale.
The Lady Seahawks are a really good hitting team and they showed it against CCS as they collected 13 hits, including four home runs.
Eight of Silverdale's nine starters had at least one hit, but it was six straight walks in the bottom of the fifth that ultimately ended the game. The Lady Seahawks scored three runs with two outs to end the game early with the 10-0 victory.
Rachel Kay had come on in relief of CCS starter Madison Hollis in the fifth. She retired the first two Silverdale hitters on a strikeout and a hard liner to third but never retired another hitter.
Marlee Montgomery, Kaili Phillips and Savannah Turner all walked with two outs to load the bases and all three scored as Kaleigh Page, Skylar Sheridan and McCade Cooper all got walks as well.
Silverdale junior Maddie Tankersley was the winning pitcher and had one of her best games of the season.
She issued leadoff walks to Savannah Ricketts and Kay in the second, but the only other base runner for the Lady Chargers was Lauren Kay, who had a bloop single near second base with one out in the fifth.
That ball should have been caught by someone for all practical purposes, but Kay was credited with a hit after nobody touched it.
The 17-year-old hurler also had nine strikeouts on the day.
“I just knew that I had to execute in the circle, but we pulled through with a bunch of big hits. I had to stay focused mentally and to trust my team. They’re really good on defense and they came through again,” she said after the game ended.
“I knew this was a big game for us and I was just a little bit nervous, but we were able to pull it out. It may have been my best game of the year,” she concluded with a smile.
The Lady Seahawks improve to 18-5 overall and 5-0 in region play. CCS is now 12-10 overall and 5-2 in region play with both losses to Silverdale.
Leadoff hitter Phillips, who has already committed to play for the Tennessee Lady Vols next fall, was the offensive star for Silverdale as she had three of her team’s 13 hits. She also walked once and scored four runs while driving in three with her 14th and 15th home runs of the season.
And to think the talented senior had been sick and even sent home for the day by coach Tim Couch, only to return and have the kind of game she did.
She hit the second pitch from Hollis over the fence in right center as the ball bounced across the entrance drive to the school.
Catcher Turner followed with another solo homer to left center. Sheridan singled up the middle and stole second and third before scoring on another single by Tankersley for a 3-0 Silverdale lead after the first inning.
Phillips singled in the second and stole second before scoring on a single by Page, who was playing with a heavy heart after her grandfather died earlier in the day.
Then in the fourth, Montgomery led off with a single and was aboard when Phillips ripped a 3-0 pitch almost to the same spot in right-center for her second round-tripper of the game. Sheridan then hit a solo homer of her own with two outs for a 7-0 lead after four.
Kay then had the bloop single in the fifth for CCS before the game ended with all the walks.
Silverdale’s Couch knew that his team was dealing with some adversity even before the first pitch had been thrown, but he was just thankful they came through like champs.
“I thought our girls played well as we overcame a lot of adversity today. Kaili had a fever and I sent her home, but she turned around and came back. And Kaleigh’s grandfather died this morning, so we had some issues to deal with. I’m just thankful it all worked out,” Couch expressed afterward.
“We started the year with a young team, but we’ve done a whole lot more than I was expecting. They’re just a bunch of overachievers.
“I was a little nervous before the game as Chattanooga Christian has a good team. But Maddie came through and pitched well. She’s been our workhorse all year and she’s been lights out against those girls. She had a moment with those two walks in the second, but I didn’t say anything and she was able to work through it.
“She’s pitched some really good games for us this spring and today was certainly one of her better efforts,” the coach concluded with praise.
CCS coach Lisa Gray had a lengthy talk with her girls following the game, trying to convince them they’re a better team than the final score indicated. Even after she was finished talking to them, they stayed in a tight circle to further discuss the current issues.
“Silverdale is a great hitting team and our hats are off to them. I don’t think we were prepared for their pitcher today and I’ll take the blame for that, but we haven’t figured her out yet and we’re running out of time.
“We just have to be more disciplined at the plate, but our tournament starts next week and I hope we can get a few things corrected by then,” she concluded with a smile.
While Phillips had the biggest day at the plate for the Lady Seahawks, Cooper, Sheridan and Montgomery all had two hits for the winners.
CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN 000 00 – 0 1 0
SILVERDALE 310 33 – 10 13 0
Hollis, R. Kay and Blevins; Tankersley and Turner.
(email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)