PIKEVILLE, Tenn. — The first inning in Wednesday's District 7-AA high school softball game at Bledsoe County told the story. Sequatchie County put two runners on base in the top half, then left them stranded. The Lady Warriors came in, got the first two on, and they scored.
Bledsoe County ended up adding a three-run fourth and went on and improved to 2-0 in the district by defeating the Lady Indians 5-1.
Hits were even at four each through three innings, but the Lady Warriors were able to take advantage of back-to-back walks starting the bottom of the first. After a sacrifice bunt, Haley Fugate drove in a run with a groundout and Mackenzie Smith followed with an RBI double.
Meanwhile, the Lady Indians were aided by an error in between Allyson Davenport's two-out double and Ariel Lahmers' RBI single in the third. Afterward, they managed one hit the rest of the way off winning pitcher Lydia Ritchie, who did not allow a walk and struck out 12.
"At the beginning of the game we were making her throw strikes," Sequatchie County coach Courtney Stewart said. "As the game went on we started swinging at balls over our head and just swinging at bad pitches. If you don't swing at good pitches, you're not going to get hits."
The Lady Warriors had four hits in succession in their half of the fourth -- the last two being doubles by Faith Forgey and Ritchie. Forgey's hit the top of the fence in left-center and drove in two. They didn't have more than one hit in four of their five other at-bats.
"We weren't hitting the ball like we had been hitting it," Bledsoe County coach Ricky Ritchie said. "We just did enough when it was all done. We'll take it. It's a district win."
Smith and Forgey were each 2-for-3 for Bledsoe. Coach Ritchie said Forgey, a senior like his daughter, Lydia, has also helped the team's 8-1 start from the pitching circle.
"The maturity of our juniors and seniors has helped a lot," Coach Ritchie said. "Faith is coming along with her pitching, too. We've been able to get a lot of innings out of her and use a true rotation, for the most part. I went with Lydia today because it was a district game."
Taylor Marsh and Victoria Roberson each singled and scored runs for the Lady Warriors.
Lahmers was 2-for-3 for Sequatchie (7-7, 1-1), which won the district last year but has had to revamp its lineup this season. Assistant coach Kelly Somerville said only senior center fielder Shelby Kilgore is starting in the same position from last year's team.
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.