Silverdale Wins DII-A State Softball Title Behind Cunningham's Pitching

Lady Seahawks Edge Columbia Academy, 2-1

  • Thursday, May 25, 2023
  • Richard Roberts
The Silverdale Lady Seahawks are the 2023 Division II-A state softball champions. The Lady Seahawks defeated Columbia Acaemy, 2-1, on Thursday at the Spring Fling in Murfreesboro.
The Silverdale Lady Seahawks are the 2023 Division II-A state softball champions. The Lady Seahawks defeated Columbia Acaemy, 2-1, on Thursday at the Spring Fling in Murfreesboro.
photo by Richard Roberts

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The old adage goes, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” But, the red-hot Silverdale Baptist Academy Lady Seahawks were having none of it.

Silverdale breezed through the winner's bracket of the winner's bracket and pulled off a, 2-1, revenge win over revenge win over Columbia Academy to win the Division II-A state softball championship Thursday.

The Lady Seahawks (35-4), who were ousted by the by the Lady Cougars (30-9) in the best-of-three series in 2022, served up a large measure of revenge against Columbia Thursday.

“They were just ready to be in this game. They knew they could do it so they called it “Revenge,” said an emotional Lady Seahawks' head coach Jackie Freeland who,wrapped up her third year at Silverdale with a state title.

“It just feels amazing. I can't even stop crying. I'm just so proud of these girls.They've worked so hard this season. We're just so blessed to be here.”

Silverdale starting pitcher Ella Cunningham did the job out of the circle and at the plate for the Seahawks. Cunningham went the distance five hits and one run while striking out nine Cougars and walking three.

“She gave it all she had. I'm sure she's worn out, but she really fought throughout the state tournament and did a great job for us,” praised Freeland.

The fireballing lefty helped her own cause in a big way with going 2-3 at the dish and the game-winning two RBI single in the third inning that held up for the victory.

“We just tried to stay within ourselves and play our ballgame and not let the moment get too big and play like we knew how to play,” said the Silverdale coach. “We played as a team. We got the big hit when we needed it.

The Cougars mounted a comeback attempt in the top of the sixth scoring one run on a walk and a pair of singles before Cunningham fanned the final out of the inning. She struck out the first two batters in the upper half of the seventh and got a pop foul fly for out No. 3.

Both teams left seven runnera apiece on base.

The Lady Seahawks began their run for the first-place trophy with wins over Knoxville Grace (10-2) followed by a 1-0 win over Columbia Academy Wednesday before capping the week with a second win over the Cougars.

“We had an outstanding pitching performance and played great defense,” Freeland said.

Columbia Academy           000 001 0 — 1 5 3

Silverdale Academy           002 000 x — 2 6 0

Brewer and McAdams; Cunningham and Hensley.

WP: Ella Cunningham LP: Kinsley Taylor HIGHLIGHTS: Tori Duval 2-3 RS, Lila Pulley RBI (CA); Kennedy Stinson 2-3 RS, Gabbie Hensley 1-2, Cunningham 2-3 2RBI (SBA). RECORDS: Columbia Academy 30-9, Silverdale 35-4.

(Email Richard Roberts at richardvol55@yahoo.com)

The Lady Seahawks rush to celebrate with their DII-A state softball championship trophy following their, 2-1, defeat of Columbia Academy.
The Lady Seahawks rush to celebrate with their DII-A state softball championship trophy following their, 2-1, defeat of Columbia Academy.
photo by Daniel Ashworth
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