Piskos Gets Game-Winning Hit In Baylor Win Over GPS

Lady Red Raiders Score Final Run In Seventh To Nip Bruisers, 4-3

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - by John Hunt

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There’s nothing quite like having senior leadership in critical situations with the game on the line in the state softball tournament.

Such was the case for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders, who came from ahead to score the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to nip GPS by a 4-3 final at McKnight Field No. Three Wednesday afternoon.

With the win, Baylor improves to 41-3 and awaits the winner of Thursday morning’s game between GPS and St. Benedict.  GPS had beaten the Lady Eagles 3-2 in Tuesday’s opening game.

But Wednesday’s winners bracket final had the markings of a state championship game as intensity was high, spirit was at a fever pitch and key important plays being made on both sides.

But for the second time in three chances this spring, Baylor prevailed.

Second baseman Abby McNamara, who beat out an infield single in the second inning, led off the Baylor seventh with a sharp single up the middle.  Emily Rye sacrificed her to second with a  perfect bunt before a fly to deep right from Mikayla Packer before Sophie Piskos ripped a one-one pitch into right center to drive in McNamara with the winning run.

Both McNamara and Rye are seniors.

“That was awesome and unbelievable,” said McNamara after scoring the winning run.

“I just knew I had to get on base and it’s such a relief to know we just have to beat them one time tomorrow,” she added.

Piskos had nothing to show for her first three times at the plate, but the fourth time was a charm.  She patiently waited for a slow breaking pitch from GPS senior Hannah Sanders before ripping it to right for the game-winning hit.

“That was a really good game and some fun competition,” the 17-year-old junior said afterward.

“I had struggled all game at the plate.  We did a good job of getting Abby around to third and I knew I had to get her home.  I had to hold back on that pitch and then drive it away, but that’s what I did,” she explained.

All of the Baylor girls were busy getting ready to head to the track to support Packer, who was a favorite in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes.  Baylor coach Kelli Smith is just happy to know her team is sitting in a good position for Thursday’s championship game, which is set to begin at 4 p.m. local time.

“Now we have to be defeated twice, but we can’t take anything for granted as I’ve seen that happen more than once.  Sophie Piskos is such a great player and there’s a reason she’s our number three hitter.  And I’m so proud of Abby, who made a great play at second before scoring the winning run,” Smith expressed.

“We finally got back within our game play after the fourth inning, but I’m super excited as it was a total team effort today.  Syd (Berzon) made some great pitches when she had to and we scored that last run when we had to have it,” she nodded.

GPS coach Susan Crownover wasn’t overly happy with her team’s play on Tuesday when they had almost as many errors (5) as hits (7) in a 3-2 win over St. Benedict.  She had promised that her team would play better in its second game and she was exactly right.

“That’s what a state tournament softball game is supposed to look like as it was two really good teams totally battling it out,” said Crownover after her team’s record fell to 27-8.

“We just needed a few more clutch hits, but Hannah Sanders pitched her tail off again.  That was much improvement from yesterday’s game, but we’ll just have to keep battling,” the veteran coach concluded.

Baylor had taken a 3-0 lead with single runs in each of the first three innings.

Packer reached with one out in the first when she got hit by a pitch before scoring on a triple to right by Ace Sellers.  Macy Ann McKnight’s solo homer with one out in the second made it 2-0 while Brinley Garrison’s sacrifice fly in the third drove in courtesy runner CaDashia Collins.

The Bruisers evened the score in the fourth.

Sanders and Ariana Whatley both singled to lead off the both scored on a double to left by Ansley Blevins.  A wild throw back to the infield sailed over the Baylor dugout, allowing Blevins to score and tie the score.

Berzon was the winning pitcher after allowing three runs on six hits.  She also had seven strikeouts and one walk.

Sanders was a tough-luck loser after allowing four runs on six hits.  She walked two and had no strikeouts.  She also hit three Baylor hitters.

GPS left four runners stranded while Baylor had five left on base.

Whatley was the only GPS player with two hits while McKnight and McNamara both had two hits for Baylor.

Baylor has won the last four D-II-AA state titles and seven of the last eight.

There were two outs when Baylor scored the winning run.

GPS 000 300 0 – 3 6 0

BAYLOR 111 000 1 – 4 6 2

Sanders and Blevins; Berzon and Piskos.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

Chattanooga Area Swim League

PHOTOS: Red Bank Swimmers Host Cleveland Aqua Tigers

CFC Can Go To The Top Of The Division With A Win At Asheville

CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE STANDINGS BLUE DIVISION Ooltewah 4 0 Stuart Heights 2 1 Signal Mountain 2 1 Dalton 1 3 Catoosa 0 4 ... (click for more)

The Red Bank Gators defeated the Cleveland Aqua Tigers Monday in a CASL swim meet at the Red Bank pool. (click for more)

Chattanooga FC’s (3-1-1) string of road matches continues on Tuesday, when they take on division-leading Asheville SC (3-1-1) at Memorial Stadium. Chattanooga is playing the third of four ... (click for more)


Chattanooga Area Swim League

CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE STANDINGS BLUE DIVISION Ooltewah 4 0 Stuart Heights 2 1 Signal Mountain 2 1 Dalton 1 3 Catoosa 0 4 RED DIVISION Fairyland 3 1 Calhoun 3 1 Country Club 3 1 Red Bank 1 3 Cleveland 0 4 WHITE DIVISION Waterdogs 4 ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Red Bank Swimmers Host Cleveland Aqua Tigers

The Red Bank Gators defeated the Cleveland Aqua Tigers Monday in a CASL swim meet at the Red Bank pool. (click for more)

Breaking News

Police Charge Jason Ansley In Wreck On Main Street In Which 9-Year-Old Boy Was Killed; Going 62 MPH In 35 MPH Zone

Chattanooga Police have arrested 38-year-old Jason Ansley in a June 7 wreck on Main Street in which 9-year-old Liam Haddock was killed and two other family members injured. Police said it was determined that Ansley was traveling 62 mph in a 35 mph zone and he was caught on video running a red light at S. Orchard Knob just prior to the 9:08 p.m. crash. Police said Ansley, who ... (click for more)

Smedley, Bankston Say They Are No Votes On Property Tax Increase

Two County Commission members on Monday told members of the Pachyderm Club that they are no votes on a property tax increase. Sabrena Smedley, who currently chairs the commission, said there are a number of unanswered questions about the school system, including how the latest test scores will turn out and how much in repairs the schools will face under a new study. She said ... (click for more)


Earl Freudenberg: Remembering 3 Friends (Glenn Draper, Marshall Roberson And Betsy Anderson)

Waking up this Sunday morning (Father's Day), I learned of the passing of three friends who had an impact on my life - Glenn Draper, Marshall Roberson and Betsy Anderson. Glenn was a guest on my radio program many times. He and his musicians represented Chattanooga around the world. In the 50's, Glenn had a national weekly radio program on NBC. He recorded several dozen CD's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW Needs Big Repairs

The banner headline on Monday morning read, “Gov. Lee, top Republicans celebrate failed UAW bid to unionize Volkswagen,” and that’s the second-worst thing that the headline could have said. The worst, of course, is if the UAW had won, and the Detroit-based union that lost 35,000 members last year would be revived -- breaking a hole into the tight wall of foreign-owned auto assembly ... (click for more)