After suffering their first District 5-3A softball loss of the season at Walker Valley on Wednesday, Ooltewah’s Lady Owls bounced back Thursday with an 11-0 victory over visiting McMinn County.
The Lady Owls (24-5, 9-1) banged out 12 hits to back the two-hit pitching of Kayla Boseman and moved into a first-place tie with the Lady Mustangs (23-6, 9-1). If the two teams finish in a tie, Walker Valley would get the No.
1 seed for the tournament by the run-difference rule.
Ooltewah beat Walker Valley by one run (16-15) and the Lady Mustangs won Wednesday game by 2-0.
“The girls were loose tonight,” Lady Owls coach Jon Massey said. “We told them you have to forget about Wednesday’s game and come back. Scoring four runs in the first inning helped a lot and Kayla threw well again today.”
Boseman (11-1) struck out 11 – she fanned 12 in the loss to Walker Valley – and gave up a two-out single to Brooke Mizell in the first inning and a double to Callie King in the third.
Addy Keylon led off Ooltewah’s first inning with a single and scored on Ally Chernak’s tripe down the right-field foul line. Boseman singled Chernak home with the second run. Cheyanne Sales singles to left-center field and Sydney White’s hit up the middle scored courtesy runner Alyssa White. Tyler Sullivan’s hit pushed Marissa Forrester, running for Sullivan, with the fourth run.
“I was glad to see the wind blowing into today,” Massey said. “We get a false sense of security when at times when it’s blowing out. But, we hit the ball hard today and that’s the main thing. We didn’t do that against Walker Valley.”
The Lady Owls, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, stretched the lead to 5-0 in the fourth when Keylon singled, Chernak walked, Boseman hit into a fielder’s choice and Sales’ single scored Keylon.
Ooltewah’s game-ending outburst in the fifth started with two out.
Mikayla Strickland reached on one of McMinn County’s three errors and Aubrey Smith walked. Keylon’s single scored Strickland (1) and Chernak’s double scored Smith and Keylon (3). Boseman’s hit sent Chernak home and Sales smacked a two-run homer, her team-leading ninth of the season, to force the TSSAA “mercy rule.”
Ooltewah’s next outing is against Soddy-Daisy at the Lady Owls’ Jim Lovell Field on April 25.
“We’ve got to keep doing what we do and try to get better,” Massey said.
McMinn County 000 00 – 0 2 3
Ooltewah 400 16 – 11 12 0
Martin and A. Baxter; Boseman and Sales.
(Contact Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @larryfleming44)