The Tennessee Fury ‘96 from Chattanooga registered their third top-five finish in an Amateur Softball Association national tournament when they placed third this past weekend in the 16-under nationals in Sunnyvale, Calif.
The Fury team coached by Kirk Lewis notched a runner-up finish in 14-under and a fifth-place finish in 12-under. The team also has a ninth-place finish to its credit in 14-under and a 13th-place finish in 10-under.
After going 1-1 in pool play last week, they were 9-2 in bracket play. The Fury’s first loss in elimination play was Friday to the Atlanta Vipers, who won the tournament. Their second loss was 9-7 on Sunday to the Lady Magic from California, who were runners-up.
“We left 17 baserunners on in that game,” Lewis said. “We left the bases loaded four times. I think the girls were out of gas by the end.”
Jessica Adell, a Fury player from Kentucky, hit a two-run double to win their first elimination game 2-1. Then they got dropped into the losers bracket but won four games Saturday and three Sunday before bowing out.
Their first victory Sunday came on a Lauren Lewis single in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the next game Hallie Williamson won with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
“They played outstanding,” Coach Lewis said. “We won seven games in a row in about a 24-hour span. They played their rear ends off to get it done. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment.”
He said second baseman Williamson was the team’s best hitter for the week. He also praised the offensive and defensive performances of third baseman Devan Brown and right fielder Precious Birdsong and said Cori Jennings and Holly Ward were the pitching leaders.
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.