Cleveland Remains Undefeated In 5-4A Softball; Downs McMinn Co., 5-1

Patterson, Mason Lead Lady Raiders to Victory

  • Saturday, April 20, 2024
  • Richard Roberts

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Cleveland tightened its grip on the top spot in 5-4A softball Friday evening as the Lady Raiders remained undefeated in district play with a 5-1 win over McMinn County.

Emily Patterson did the job for the Lady Raiders out of the circle and Lilly “Smalls” Mason provided power at the plate with the first homer of her high school career.

“It was a good fight,” said Cleveland skipper KJ Harris. “Obviously, it was not what we wanted at the plate. I'd like a little more consistency, but “Smalls” once again broke out and joined the bomb squad for this year. I felt like defensively it was one of the best games we've had in a while. Emily (Patterson) threw a heckuva game on the mound so we're happy with it taking it into our last district game.”

Patterson held the Lady Cherokees (7-13, 0-3 District 5-4A) to only three hits while striking out five and walking four. Patterson's one mistake in an otherwise sparkling performance was a home run ball to McMinn's Ama Grimmett in the top of the fourth inning.

The Lady Raiders (17-11, 4-0) came out hot in the bottom of the first with a two RBI single to left field off the bat of Ashley Allen that scored Lily O'Bryan and Allison Farnsworth, who both reached base after being hit by a pitch.

Jamaya Hill opened the lower half of the second with a walk and later scored on a two out, RBI single to left off the bat of Farnsworth to make it a 3-0 game. 

McMinn cut it to 3-1 on Grimmett's homer in the fourth.

Mason answered in the bottom of the fifth with a line shot that cleared the center-field fence upping the Cleveland lead to 4-1. Thanks to some heads up base running by O'Bryan, the Lady Raiders added a final nail in the sixth.

O'Bryan led off with a walk and stole second. The next batter, Landri Nelson, bunted a slow roller down the first base line for a base hit. O'Bryan took advantage of the situation and raced to third never slowing down as she made the turn and raced home for the final run of the game.

The Lady Raiders got a pair of quick outs in the top of the seventh and, after a pair of walks, Patterson closed out the win with a strikeout to presever the 5-1 victory.

The Lady Raiders close out the district schedule with a rivalry game against Walker Valley Tuesday and Rhea County Wednesday. Cleveland will have home field advantage both days.

“I don't think we've arrived and I think we know that. Our ceiling is very tall and we've got a few things we need to adjust, but we're clicking at the right time,” said Harris. “I'm happy with it.”

McMinn County        000 100 0 — 1 3 2

Cleveland                   210 011 x — 5 6 0

WP: Emily Patterson LP: Cami Wade HR: Ama Grimmett (MC), Lilly Mason (C). Highlights: Grimmett 3-2 RS RBI (MC); O'Bryan 1-3 RS, Landri Nelson 1-3 RBI, Allison Farnsworth 1-2 RS RBI, Mason 1-3 RS RBI, Alexis Folts 1-2, Jamaya Hill RS (C). Records: McMinn County 7-13, 0-3 District 5-4A; Cleveland 17-11, 4-0.


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