Presswood Leads Walker Valley To Spring Fling Softball Dance

Junior Hurler's Arm, Bat Help Lady Mustangs Down Smyrna, 2-1

  • Friday, May 17, 2024
  • Joe Cannon
CHARLESTON, Tenn. — Holding off another tough opponent, Walker Valley out dueled Smyrna to earn its first trip to the TSSAA State Softball Championship since its runner-up run in 2018.

The 2-1 battle at Larry Haney Field Friday was the eighth one-run victory of the season for the fifth-ranked Feisty Fillies and second in a row, after winning the Region 3 crown by the same 2-1 tally over East Hamilton Wednesday.

"We did it again — played great defense, got some timely hits and 'Boogs (junior Ryann Presswood) pitched another great game," proclaimed an emotional veteran Herd wrangler Lauren Limburg after the contest.

"Smyrna is a great team.
You have to be to reach this level and their pitcher (Adaeze Nwgobo) was tough, but we were able to stay focused and do what we needed to do.

"These girls have fought for each other all season. They love each other and are family," she assessed. "For them to be able to do this is very special and they've earned it."

After winning 12 of its first 13 games this season, Walker Valley (30-7-1) will open its fourth State Championship Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Murfreesboro Sports Complex, against a yet to be determined opponent.

The Feisty Fillies brought home state runner-up trophies in 2005 and '18, plus finished fourth in 2004.

Top-ranked Green Hill (40-6-2) and No. 8-ranked Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett (31-11) have also advance to the Elite Eight, while the other five teams were still playing at presstime.

The double-elimination tournament will continue through Friday, when the championship game will be played at Middle Tennessee State.

In a battle of junior NCAA Division I commits, Presswood and Nwgobo had a classic pitcher's duel.

Improving her record to 22-5 on the season with a 1.75 earned run average, Presswood, who has verbally committed to play at Texas-El Paso (UTEP), struck out four, gave up just three hits and a pair of walks to a lineup that features a half dozen college signees.

The Middle Tennessee bound Nwgobo countered with five Ks and no freebies, but was touched for seven hits.

Walker Valley got on the scoreboard with the initial run in the bottom of the second when Presswood laced the first of her three hits.

Courtesy runner Addyson Trew moved to third base when one of Nwgobo's fastball skipped off the tip of the catcher's mitt and nailed the home plate umpire ricocheting away.

Sophomore Brylie Davis was also to bring Trew home when she lifted a deep fly ball to right field for a sacrifice RBI.

The Feisty Fillies scored again in their next at bat when junior Karly Blackwell laced a one-out single in the third frame. 

She was bunted up by classmate Amy Benson before Alyssa Davenport, also an 11th-grader, delivered a run-scoring hit.

Although Walker Valley had base runners reach in its other four at bats, none could score as seven "ducks were left on the pond."

After facing just two batters over the minimum in the first five frames, Presswood gave up a one-out triple to University of the Cumberlands signee Emma McDonald. she was able to score a moment later on a fielder's choice grounder by Sophie Clayton, who is headed to Cumberland University in Lebanon.

Getting out of the inning by stranding a couple of base runners, Presswood set the Lady Bulldogs down in order in the top of the seventh, including striking out the first two.

East Tennessee State signee Addison Woodall pulled in the game's final out in a shot to center field to set off the celebration.

Along with Presswood's perfect plate performance, Davenport went 2-for-3 with a "ribbie."

Davis ripped a double, while sophomore Madison Thomas, Blackwell and Benson all had one-base knocks.

Game Summary
TSSAA Class 4A Sectionals


Smyrna                  000 001 0 — 1  3  0
Walker Valley        011 000 x — 2  7  1
Nwgobo and King; Presswood and Oran.
WP: Ryann Presswood. LP: Adaeze Nwgobo. Records: Smyrna 27-12; Walker Valley 30-7-1.


(Contact Joe Cannon at

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