By Tim Chambers
A red headed Cunningham brought “Happy Days” to the Elizabethton softball team on Friday afternoon in their game with Happy Valley.
Lindsey Cunningham fired a no-hitter and banged out three hits leading ‘Betsy to an 11-1 win.
She retired 13 of the last 14 batters she faced. Happy Valley’s lone run was aided by a hit batter, an infield error and a wild pitch after a strike out.
“We came hitting the ball well and Lindsey just pitched one heck of a game,” said Elizabethton’s LeAnne Click. “We had something to prove today because our kids wanted this game really bad. We were fired up after winning 18-15 last night and getting 19 hits. I thought that carried over today. We just added some defense and good pitching to it.”
Only two balls were hit in the outfield by the Warriors in the game. Cunningham’s snag of Kaitlin Campbell’s line drive in the fifth inning helped preserve the no-hitter.
“I knew what I had to do on the mound so I brought the heat,” said Cunningham. “We wanted to redeem ourselves after losing to them down there. My teammates played great defense behind me and I’m really proud of them. We weren’t about to lose this one. Everybody came out ready to play.”
Ironically it was Campbell who scored the Tribe’s only run. The Cyclones countered with four in the bottom half.
Danielle Loving singled then later came home on an error. A sacrifice fly by Ashley Dykes allowed Whitney Guinn to score who was running for Cunningham who had singled. Casey Jones delivered the biggest base hit — a two-run double scoring walk recipients Reazyn DeMoss and Caley Hodge.
Not only did the Warrior bats seem to have holes in them, but their gloves did to.
A pair of errors and Cunningham’s single led to two runs more runs in the second.
In all, the Tribe made six errors on the day. Four came in the fourth inning when ‘Betsy tallied a half dozen runs to go up 11-1.
Cunningham ripped her third base hit and DeMoss reached on an error. Hodge then lofted a sac fly that ended with both runners scoring after a throwing error trying to get DeMoss at third.
Emily Dugger’s two run triple into the right field corner allowed Jones and Dykes, who had doubled to race home. Emily Carr’s single and Sophie Bremer’s double would each drive in runs giving them their double-digit advantage.
Cunningham breezed through the final inning just like she had the previous three.
She fanned six, walked one and hit one in her complete game effort. She also scored twice and drove home a run in addition to her three hits.
Dugger had two hits and a run batted in. Jones went 1-for-3 and drove in three runs.
Happy Valley head coach Mike Dorsey felt like his team discombobulated after their first miscue.
“I think the pressure got to us after we made that first error,” said Dorsey. “That’s all it took then we folded. We’re still in good position to finish second or third but we can’t play like we did today. The game got away from us. One mistake led to another. It was like a domino effect.”
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Happy Valley 100 00 — 1 0 6
Elizabethton 320 6x — 11 10 1
Simmons, Roberts (1), Simmons (2) and Coffey. Cunningham and Hodge.