By Gene Renfro
ELIZABETHTON — The Wayne Hodge State Farm Classic Softball Tournament provided two lopsided games to begin the event Friday followed by two hard-fought contests in the pool play at Elizabethton High.
In the opener host Elizabethton was an 18-3 winner over Hampton. Hampton then fell 10-2 to Sullivan East. University High followed that up with a 5-4 come-from behind win over Sullivan East before Elizabethton closed the day out with a 3-0 win against University High.
“I’m excited for them, they done really well today,” Elizabethton head coach LeAnna Click said about the two wins for her squad.
Haylee Sloan might have put Hampton up 2-1 after an inning with her two-out home run out to left.
However after that Elizabethton answered and then some. In all the Lady Cyclones scored 16 runs in the second inning. A total of 19 batters went to the plate where 13 hits were posted. Casey Jones was 2-for-3 in that inning with two runs scored and a RBI.
In addition seven players scored two runs apiece. Included in the onslaught was a grand slam from pitcher Lindsey Cunningham. Caley Hodge also hit a homer out to center after Reazyn DeMoss was hit by a pitch. DeMoss had a two-run double earlier in the inning. Danielle Loving had two RBI singles in the frame as part of her 3-for-4 day.
Sophie Bremer and Emily Carr each had two hits as well in the contest for the Lady Cyclones.
Inside the circle Cunningham threw the opening inning for Elizabethton. After that Emily Thorton finished the final two frames.
Sloan had both of Hampton’s hits in the event’s opening contest.
Once again it was a large second inning that proved to be the difference. This time Sullivan East plated seven runs.
Alix Clark powered out a homer to left with two outs for the final two tallies in that extended inning.
Molly Crabtree drove in both of the Lady Bulldogs’ runs with a double to left center during the third inning. Sadie Fletcher provided the other Hampton hit.
Brittany Scott provided three Sullivan East hits with two more from both Trent and Courtney Leonard. Trent drove in three runs and also scored twice.
“We’ve got some girls in different positions, but that’s still no reason for how they played,” Hampton head coach Bill Doss said. “They came out and just wasn’t ready to play today. They waited until the second game to start playing. The girls can play better, I’ve seen it. We just didn’t have the communication today and they weren’t working like they needed to.”
In the day’s final game the Lady Cyclones improved to 2-0 in the pool with the victory over the Junior Lady Bucs.
“The second game was amazing because University High is an amazing team,” Click said about the day’s final win. “So we came up ready to go and they had fun tonight.”
Carr’s bloop single into shallow right fell as Hodge and Ashleigh Dykes raced in. The bases were loaded and two outs in the bottom of the second for Carr’s at bat.
Hodge added a sacrifice fly to right in the Lady Cyclones’ half of the third for a 3-0 lead. She was 2-for-2 in the contest and DeMoss also had two hits against University High.
Tanner Horton broke up Cunningham’s perfect game with a single to left in the fourth.
Cunningham would go onto throw a two-hit shutout. She faced just one over the minimum and struck out seven. Five of those strikeouts came as she retired the last seven foes in order.
“Lindsey pitched a heck of a game,” Click said about her pitcher. “She did really well.”
Horton also went the distance with three runs allowed, two earned, on eight hits.
The Junior Lady Bucs scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to overtake Sullivan East.
Included in that was a RBI single from Taylor Treadway who went 3-for-3. Alyssa Fair was the game-winning run as she scored on an error in the outfield.
Sarah Mast and Mikki Burke were both 2-for-3 for University High.
Sullivan East saw Leonard go 2-for-3, the only Lady Patriot with more than one hit.
Elizabethton 1(16)1 — 18 15 0
Hampton 201 — 3 2 3
Cunningham, Thorton (2) and Hodge, Reece. Crabtree and M. Burchett. W—Cunningham. L—Crabtree. HR—Elizabethton, Cunningham, Hodge; Hampton, Sloan.
Hampton 002 0 — 2 2 4
Sullivan East 271 0 — 10 10 0
Crabtree and M.Burchett, Fletcher. Leonard and Scott. W—Leonard. L—Crabtree. HR—East, Clark.
Univ. High 000 000 0 — 0 2 1
Elizabethton 021 000 x — 3 8 0
Horton and Bright. Cunningham and Hodge. W—Cunningham L—Horton.