Give Sarah Moore a chance to show a flare for the dramatic, and the Baylor senior never seems to disappoint.
This weekend the Lady Red Raiders hosted a Hits for Hope high school softball tournament for the first time. A big reason for the breast-cancer-awareness fundraiser is that Moore's mother, Kelly, is fighting the disease.
Sarah went out Saturday and pitched a two-hitter in the six-inning championship game, leading Baylor past Central 8-1.
In 2011, Baylor coach Kelli Smith decided to pitch Moore against GPS in the "if" game in the Division II-AA state tournament, and the right-hander threw a shutout. Earlier that year she homered in Soddy-Daisy's Lady Trojan Classic and the ball practically rolled right up to her mother sitting in a chair beyond the outfield fence. On opening day last season Moore belted a home run that accounted for the only runs in a 2-0 victory over Central.
Earlier Saturday, Moore, who will play at NCAA Division III Berry College next season, was presented a scholarship by the MaryEllen Locher Foundation based on money generated by the tournament.
"This is kind of a storybook ending for her," Smith said of Moore, who gave up two walks and an unearned run and had five strikeouts.
The Lady Purple Pounders made four errors in the first three innings. Baylor (16-5) took advantage of two in the first inning, which also included Cassi Pickett's RBI double.
"I was proud of my girls," Central coach LeeAnne Shurette said. "I thought they played hard. Things just didn't bounce our way in the final. It was our fifth game of the day. It's hard to be crisp or spot on as tired as we were. The girls battled all day long."
Pickett singled after Noelle Winkles tripled leading off the third. Moore later drove in a run with a fielder's choice to make it 4-0. Winkles and Haley Andrus each hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Chasidy Ainslie, who was pitching her fourth game of the day.
"If we had to go another game, she'd go out there and do the best she could," Shurette said of her junior right-hander. "I like her spirit."
Moore was also the winning pitcher in the Lady Raiders' 5-4 semifinal victory over Arts & Sciences. Baylor has been shut out three times this year, and Central (16-6) and CSAS were responsible for one each.
"That was a lot of motivation, absolutely," Smith said. "Any time you lose to a team, you'd like to have another chance at them, especially when you get shut out."
Brook Womack doubled in the third, moved up on a throwing error on her hit and scored the Lady Pounders' run on Baylor's other error.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
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.