By Rick Sheek
A momentum builder as the postseason approaches?
Elizabethton’s softball team certainly earned one last weekend.
The Lady Cyclones made quick work of the Wayne Hodge State Farm Classic, going 6-0. Visiting Happy Valley was the victim in Saturday night’s championship, a 10-0 rout.
“We played amazing this tournament,” Elizabethton coach LeAnne Click said. “We really came out strong from the beginning, from yesterday playing UH last night and East this morning. They came out ready to play.
“The girls have been super happy, super ready to play and they’ve just been on it. They’ve been on their game. I’m just very pleased.”
The Warriors were 3-3 in the tournament, including an eight-inning win over David Crockett to reach the title game.
“They all were rough today,” Happy Valley coach Mike Dorsey said. “They really were. We just battled all of the way through, had extra innings to get here, and they did fine.”
Lindsey Cunningham reaped tournament MVP honors. In the championship she was touched for four hits and struck out seven with no walks.
“Lindsey pitched amazing,” Click said. “(Emily) Thornton came in and pitched a couple, so she did well. But all in all we hit the ball, we adjusted to slow pitching and fast pitching, and we did what we needed to do to win.
“We played great defense, ran when we were supposed to. All the points of softball, they really did.”
Reazyn DeMoss batted 3 for 4 in the title contest, including a solo home run. She blasted three homers in the tournament and was named co-most outstanding offensive player along with Caley Hodge, who slugged two homers, including a grand slam, and tripled on the weekend.
Happy Valley second baseman Kaitlin Campbell received tournament top defensive honors.
Ashleigh Dykes went 3 for 4. Cunningham was 3 for 5.
Danielle Loving hit 2 for 3. Hodge was 2 for 5.
Brittany Morefield hurled four innings in absorbing the loss. She was roughed up for 10 hits, yielded two earned runs and walked one.
“She pitched the last two games in a row, and the district tournament is more important than this tournament,” Dorsey said. “I just decided to make that choice. Try to win this was the fans’ choice, but the district tournament is my choice — so that’s what I went for.”
In the three innings of relief, Kaylee Street allowed six hits, three earned runs and walked two.
DeMoss tagged a sacrifice fly in the first inning. The Cyclones (20-11) were retired when Street, the Happy Valley left fielder hooked up with catcher Kiara Coffey.
Elizabethton increased its advantage to 5-0 in the second. Sophie Bremer delivered a two-run single and two runners crossed on an outfield error.
Emily Dugger’s RBI made it 6-0 in the third. Dykes had double, before being bunted over to third by Emily Carr.
A runner was plated in the fifth on an error, pushing the whipping to 7-0. DeMoss mashed her solo shot in the sixth.
Street doubled and the Warriors (16-16) juiced the bags in the sixth, but came up empty. Brooke Simmons had doubled in the fourth before being stranded, and a runner was also left on second base in the seventh.
The onslaught was completed in the seventh. Bremer connected on a sacrifice fly, and Dugger stole home.
In the Saturday’s earlier action, Elizabethton defeated Unaka 2-0, Sullivan East 8-0 and Cloudland 2-0. Happy Valley disposed of East, lost to Cloudland 6-3, before disposing of East 7-0 and Crockett 3-2.
Unaka beat Hampton 2-0, but lost to Crockett 4-3.
Elizabethton 141 011 2 — 10 16 0
Happy Valley 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Cunningham and Hodge. Morefield, Street (5) and Coffey. W—Cunningham. L—Morefield. HRs—Elizabethton: DeMoss.