BLUFF CITY — “Weather” or not they would play was the question floating around Sullivan East High Tuesday when the Elizabethton and Happy Valley losers’ bracket game of the District 1-AA Softball Tournament was halted.
The game was stopped in the second inning and after a two-hour delay the game resumed. After that the Lady Cyclones blew past Happy Valley for an 11-1 win in five innings to move into today’s championship contest.
With the outcome the Lady Cyclones will take on perennial favorite Unicoi County today at 5 p.m. An Elizabethton victory would force the if-necessary game immediately after the conclusion.
The Lady Cyclones will be in the Region 1-AA tournament next week for a seventh straight season and try to win the district for a second time in the last three years. However, to do that Elizabethton will have to beat a program that has a dozen District 1-AA titles in the last 13 years. That one district title not in Unicoi County resides in Elizabethton, which happened in 2010.
“It was awesome, we knew that we needed to win both of them to stay in it,” Elizabethton head coach LeAnne Click said. “The girls, I couldn’t ask for two better games — and after waiting for two hours for the rain delay, they came back ready to play.”
The long day for the Lady Cyclones started with a 9-0 victory over Sullivan East in a losers’ bracket semifinal.
When action resumed around 9:10 p.m. Elizabethton capitalized on a scoring situation and it grew into a scoring frenzy. The Lady Cyclones had two runners on base and one out.
From there Elizabethton scored six runs, which included a two-run single by Danielle Loving and a three-run home run by Reazyn DeMoss.
For DeMoss it was home run No. 2 on the day. She hit a blast that bounced off two cars against Sullivan East in the opening game. That was her first hit of the District 1-AA Tournament. DeMoss followed that up with a 3-for-4 effort — which included a double — against Happy Valley.
“I’ve hit the best tonight that I have all year,” DeMoss said. “After getting beat by Happy Valley last week, it was a motivation to come out and win these two games tonight.”
Loving finished the game 3-for-4 from her lead-off spot. Sophie Bremer added two hits and scored three times.
All in all, Elizabethton posted a lucky number of 13 hits against the nearby foe.
After that, the Lady Cyclones added four more runs during the fourth. Elizabethton pitcher Lindsey Cunningham had the first RBI of the inning with her single back up the middle. It was her second hit of the game, and she scored twice.
In the circle, Cunningham allowed three hits over five innings. She struck out two in her second game that saw 48 pitches tossed.
Against, Sullivan East she delivered 91 pitches over seven innings in the shutout. Six hits were peppered off her with four strikeouts mixed in. With the bat she was also 2-for-4 as she has gone 6-for-12 at the plate in the three District 1-AA Tournament games.
Happy Valley was able to get the 1-0 lead before the rain fell. Allison Williams came in on a ball hit by Kiara Coffey that resulted in an error. Williams started the second inning with a double to get into scoring position.
“They came out and were ready; we’re not a good come-from-behind team,” Happy Valley head coach Mike Dorsey said about his Lady Warriors. “That rain delay took a little bit out of us, if they will admit it or not.”
Elizabethton concluded the contest with a RBI single from Caley Hodge in the fifth with two outs to obtain the 11-1 lead. That was Hodge’s only hit of the game, but she drove in a pair of teammates. Against Sullivan East, Hodge went 2-for-4 with another RBI.
Brittany Morefield completed 42⁄3 innings and allowed six earned runs. The Lady Warrior hurler struck out one, walked one and hit another batter.
To start Tuesday’s slate of games, Elizabethton blew open a 2-0 game with a two-run fifth followed by five more in the sixth.
In that contest, Emily Dugger was also 2-for-4.
The Lady Patriots’ Casey Williams and Angel Trent each had two hits.
Trent was tagged for nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits over six innings for the Lady Patriots.
Sullivan East 000 000 0 — 0 6 2
Elizabethton 011 025 x — 9 10 1
Trent and Scott. Cunningham and Hodge. W—Cunningham. L—Trent. HR—Elizabethton, DeMoss.
Happy Valley 010 00 — 1 3 4
Elizabethton 060 41 — 11 13 2
Morefield and Coffey. Cunningham and Hodge. W—Cunningham L—Morefield. HR—Elizabethton, DeMoss.