DUNLAP, Tenn. — On a softball team loaded with heavy hitters, it would be easy to overlook Katelynne Cheatham. Only a sophomore, Cheatham is surrounded by Sequatchie County's talented upperclassman teammates but proved again Monday why she is every bit as lethal at the plate.
After Madi Presto and Emily Dagnan singled with one out in the first inning, Cheatham followed by blasting a three-run home run. It was her ninth of the season and started the Lady Indians toward a 6-1 win over rival Bledsoe County in the District 7-AA final.
"I was pretty nervous before I walked up to the plate," Cheatham said. "I just stepped back, cleared my head, and really the pitch seemed like it was coming in slow motion. As soon as I made contact I knew it was gone.
"Honestly, that one felt better than any of the others I've had this year just because of who it came against and it was in the district championship game."
The early offense was more than enough for pitcher Brooklyn Girdley, who scattered six hits, struck out just three and got solid defensive help. Ashley Brown had an RBI double in the third for Bledsoe County, but the Lady Indians countered in the fourth when Payton Carlton doubled and scored on Meredith Mitchell's single.
Dagnan's two-run single in the bottom of the sixth capped Sequatchie's fourth win over Bledsoe in five meetings this season.
"It's big any time you can get a few runs in the first like that," Lady Indians coach Courtney Stewart said. "But a home run like that really gets everybody excited, plus gives us the confidence to go play a little looser since we have a lead.
"We've got good hitters up and down the lineup. The bottom of our order is just as good as our leadoff, and that makes it tough on anybody we play."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...