Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans will go into Friday’s Lady Trojan Invitational at Warner Park riding high after a come-from-behind 4-3 victory Thursday against Cleveland.
Soddy-Daisy’s win coupled with McMinn County’s stunning 4-1 victory over Walker Valley moved the Lady Trojans into first place by 20 percentage points over the Lady Mustangs.
In the other district game, East Hamilton rallied with nine runs in the last two innings to knock off rival Ooltewah, 9-8.
Coach Travis Hale’s squad (22-8, 10-1) got five of its 11 hits from the first two batters in the lineup – Courtney Sneed (three) and Stephanie Blevins (two) – and still had to rally late to pull out the win.
Blevins also went the distance in the circle, scattering nine hits and giving up three runs, just one was earned. She struck out seven and walked none.
Cleveland’s Sara Pritchard also turned in a complete game. She gave up 11 hits, four runs and struck out one.
The Lady Trojans, whose final district game is a pivotal one at Walker Valley on April 24, began their comeback in the third inning when Laci Mercer sent a two-out single to center that scored Courtney Sneed.
In the fourth, Emily Higgins slugged a two-out home and tied the game at 2-2.
Kaylin Fugatt triggered a two-run sixth with a double. After Higgins lined out to second, Jayde Baron pushed Fugatt across with a single to left field. With two outs, Baylie Davis’ single to left scored courtesy runner Makayla Perez home with what proved to be the winning run.
The Lady Blue Raiders got an RBI single from Sierra Brown in the first inning, Madilyn Kidd delivered a run-scoring double in the second and Kailee Wilson’s infield produced the third run.
Sneed went 3 for 4 for the Lady Trojans and Blevins had two hits in four at-bats.
Brown was 3 for 4 for Cleveland and Kidd collected two hits.
McMinn County 4, Walker Valley 1: Sadie Brazzell fired a four-hitter and the Lady Cherokees pecked away offensively with single runs in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings to post the district’s biggest upset of the season.
Brazzell went the distance and allowed one run while striking out three and walking two. She threw 100 pitches, 63 for strikes.
In McMinn’s first inning, Makenzee Shirk and Brooke Mizell each singled and Ashley Baxter punched an RBI single to left field.
Two innings later, Emily Baxter delivered an RBI single to left.
With two out in the fifth, Ashley Baxter singled to center and raced home on Jordan Mizell’s double up the middle. Taylor Hancock singled and Sammie Greeson was hit by a pitch and Hancock scored on Moriah Erwin’s sacrifice bunt.
Walker Valley’s lone run came in the third when Carissa Frost and Laney Harris each singled. Frost later scored on a wild pitch.
Walker Valley fell to 20-8 overall and 8-1 in the district. The Lady Mustangs have league games remaining with Bradley Central, Ooltewah and Soddy-Daisy.
East Hamilton 9, Ooltewah 8: The Lady Hurricanes (14-11, 5-5) scored six runs in the sixth inning and had to hold the Lady Owls off in the top of the seventh to preserve the tough win.
Lady Canes pitcher Syerra Rogers struck out nine and walked one in the win. Ooltewah’s Mackenzie Patterson took the loss.
Shelbie Sholtz went 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs to pace East Hamilton. Ally Sue had two hits and drove in two runs. Reese Knox added two hits.
Cheyanne Sales had three hits in four at-bats, including a home run, and had five RBIs.
The Lady Owls are now 11-9 overall and 4-4 in the district.
Cleveland 110 010 0 – 3 9 0
Soddy-Daisy 001 102 x – 4 11 3
Pritchard and Kidd; Blevins and Ingle.
McMinn County 101 011 0 – 4 9 1
Walker Valley 001 000 0 – 1 4 1
Brazzell and J. Mizell; Everett, Leslie (4) and Everett.
Ooltewah 301 100 3 – 8 5 3
East Hamilton 000 036 x – 9 10 2
Syerra Rogers and Syvana Rogers; Patterson and Sales.
(Contact Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @larryfleming44)