Wednesday’s rematch of Monday’s game between Silverdale Baptist and Arts & Sciences apparently went the other way in more ways than one.
The Lady Seahawks bounced back from the earlier loss and eliminated CSAS 3-0 in the losers-bracket final in the District 5-A high school softball tournament at Warner Park.
Silverdale (14-11) moves on to play Grace Academy in the final, which is scheduled for today at Warner Park at 4 p.m. If necessary, a second championship game would be played Friday.
The district champion will host South Pittsburg in a Region 3 semfinal Monday and the runner-up will play at Marion County. The Lady Warriors beat the Lady Pirates 8-2 at Lookout Valley on Wednesday in the District 6 final.
Silverdale coach Chip Liner said one thing different about his players Wednesday was their positive attitude this time around.
“We were in so much of a better frame of mind,” Liner said.
Lady Patriots coach Michelle Meyners was left wondering where the team was the beat Silverdale 4-2 in their tournament opener.
“We didn’t hit the ball and we made errors,” Meyners said. “I don’t think we had the first error the other day when we won. They just didn’t come out wanting it today.”
The Lady Seahawks got triples from Loren Hilton and Amanda Patterson with Hilton scoring their first run. However, their other four hits were singles — two in the infield — and their RBIs came on Bri Leffew’s slow-roller to second and Abbie Bateman’s dribbler toward the pitcher. The second run scored on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt.
“We put the ball in play and executed the bunt really well,” Liner said. “We had speed on the bases at times and were lucky to get some runs.”
Winning pitcher Katie Henderson and the solid defense behind her took care of the rest. She allowed CSAS (15-14) two hits and of her nine strikeouts, four were on swings at pitches in the dirt and catcher Regan Robertson had to throw the runners out at first base. Henderson’s changeup induced several swings and misses and her only walk was with two out in the sixth.
“That’s been her Achilles heel,” Liner said of bases on balls, “and going deep in counts. A walk is like a single. When she doesn’t walk people and she’s in command of her pitches, she’s really effective.”
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.