Host Soddy-Daisy, Bledsoe County, Union County and Halls each went 3-0 in pool play Friday in the 23rd Lady Trojan Classic high school softball tournament at Soddy Lake Kids' Park.
Those teams and four others, based on pool-play results, make up the Gold bracket for today's single-elimination play. The remaining eight teams will compete in the Silver bracket. Elimination action is slated to begin at 9 a.m. Finals are scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Soddy-Daisy (11-1) began by defeating Hixson 11-0 in four innings, then held off Arts & Sciences 5-3 in another four-inning game. The Lady Trojans finished with another four-inning victory, 10-0 over Powell.
Haley Reynolds went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs against the Lady Wildcats. Morgan Bailey was 2-for-3 with a double and drove in three runs in Soddy-Daisy's second game. Savannah Moore was 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the Lady Trojans' third game.
"We put the bat on the ball," said Soddy-Daisy coach Wes Skiles, whose team totaled 31 hits. "We scored quite a few early, then scored five against CSAS. That was good. We scored 10 in this last game. And the defense turned two double plays -- 5-4-3 double plays -- in the last two games. That was big. Our pitchers' jobs are to make them mishit the ball and our defense does the rest."
Emily Moore earned two of the pitching wins for the Lady Trojans, who'll open with East Hamilton today. Tori Denayer was the winning pitcher against CSAS.
Bledsoe County (11-1) parlayed 23 hits into 22 runs, starting with an 8-6 six-inning victory over East Hamilton in which the Lady Warriors trailed 6-0 after two innings. They scored all their runs in the top of the first inning and beat Sale Creek 8-1 in six innings before defeating Karns 6-2 in another six-inning game.
Faith Forgey, who got the pitching win against Sale Creek, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in Bledsoe's opener, and Haley Fugate contributed a grand slam. Lydia Ritchie, who was the winning pitcher in the first and third games, striking out 11 against Karns, went 2-for-4 and scored twice in the middle game. Fugate was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs in the third game.
"We hit it all day," Bledsoe coach Ricky Ritchie said. "Bottom, middle, we were consistent hitting throughout the order."
The Lady Warriors begin elimination play against CSAS (6-1).
"There's good competition here, and that's what we want," Coach Ritchie said. "For us to get better, we've got to mix it up with these guys. We want to go to Murfreesboro [for the state tournament]. We're not going to be able to do that just playing district games."
Union County edged Seymour 3-2, defeated Whitwell 9-0 and beat Central 6-1.
Halls outscored Ooltewah, Sequatchie County and Grace Academy by a combined score of 31-7.
Union County plays Ooltewah and Halls takes on Seymour in their bracket-play opening games.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com. 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.