published Monday, March 24th, 2014

Lady Trojans visit Nunley at UK

East Hamilton Choo Choo Classic

At The Summit of Softball Complex

Friday's pool play

Field 2: Sequoyah vs. Mt. Juliet, 6; Sale Creek vs. Sequoyah, 7:30; Sale Creek vs. Mt. Juliet, 9

Field 3: Soddy-Daisy vs. Farragut, 4:30; Silverdale Baptist Academy vs. Farragut, 6; Silverdale vs. Soddy-Daisy, 7:30

Field 4: Baylor vs. Meigs County, 4:30; Sequatchie County vs. Meigs County, 6; Baylor vs. Tuscaloosa (Ala.) American Christian Academy, 7:30; American Christian Academy vs. Sequatchie County, 9

Field 5: East Hamilton vs. Hixson, 6; Hixson vs. Friendship Christian, 7:30; East Hamilton vs. Friendship Christian, 9

Field 6: Ooltewah vs. Central, 4:30; Central vs. Whitwell, 6; Ooltewah vs. Jefferson County, 7:30; Jefferson County vs. Whitwell, 9

Soddy-Daisy's softball team traveled to Kentucky over the weekend, and for two reasons. The Lady Trojans competed in a high school softball tournament at Elizabethtown where they went 4-1, and they took in a University of Kentucky doubleheader Sunday in Lexington.

Coach Wes Skiles arranged the trip with the hope that Soddy-Daisy graduate Kelsey Nunley, now a sophomore with the Wildcats, would pitch one of the games. The team made the hour-and-a-half tip after Saturday's elimination loss to Owensboro Catholic.

As it turned out, Nunley was the winning pitcher in a 4-2 victory over Kent State in the second game. Afterward, she met with the 2014 Lady Trojans and she and Kentucky coach Rachel Lawson took them on a brief guided tour.

"We toured the press box and all the facilities," Skiles said. "They have a nice place there. The girls seemed to enjoy it. We did a lot of team bonding, hanging out from the time we got put out of the tournament. We really enjoyed watching those two games, especially getting to watch Kelsey that second game. It was nice for them to get to see somebody play at that level."

Large win, little fun

Polk County won 14-2 in six innings in its softball game Thursday at Coalfield. Hannah Triplett, second cousin of Polk coach Bill Triplett, went 3-for-3 with a double, pitched really well according to the coach, and he added that the defense was nearly flawless. But in summary of the game, his words were: "It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be."

What happened was Triplett scheduled his Class AA team two doubleheaders this season with Coalfield because one of his daughters, Katy, had taken the head coaching job there. The Lady Yellow Jackets made some Class A state-tournament appearances recently, led by the pitching of Lindsey Fadnek, who now plays at Marshall University. But that was then.

"They've had a pretty good program the last four or five years," Bill Triplett said. "But you lose a Division I pitcher and then your best pitcher coming back transfers, that's made it tough. Before the game all the banter and stuff was fun, but I didn't enjoy it like I should have."

The teams decided they would not make it a doubleheader, and likewise the rematch at Benton on March 31 will be one game.

"After the game I told her 'If your kids play hard for you, and you're having fun, and your players are not embarassing the game, you're doing a good job as a coach,'" Dad said of his daughter, whose only previous coaching experience was last year as an assistant at Polk County. "On the last out a kid busted it down the line trying to beat out a groundball. I was really impressed with the way they responded to her. They've got some good eighth-graders coming up."

Silverdale captures Madness

Silverdale Baptist Academy defeated Bledsoe County 5-2 late Saturday in the championship game of the Lady Wildcats March Madness tournament at Hixson.

Winning pitcher Emily Harkleroad, a freshman, had a 4-0 pitching record for the weekend and she led the Lady Seahawks with a .625 batting average (10-for-16). Junior Allison Meadows (9-for-20) was 3-for-4 with a triple in the championship game and senior Sloane Woodard (7-for-14) was 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored.

Taylor Moran and Lindsey Newell, sophomore transfers from Heritage, combined to go 16-for-41 for Silverdale (9-0). Moran contributed a two-run homer in the final and came on in relief and earned her first save.

"A lot of people throughout contributed," Silverdale coach Tim Couch said. "That's kind of how our team is built. Our pitching was really good. The defense played just solid. We made very few errors. Our hitting, one through nine, is a pick-you-up kind of a deal. If one person is not hitting the way they think maybe they should, somebody else does it for them."

Summit hosts Choo Choo

The first East Hamilton Choo Choo Classic softball tournament will be held this weekend at The Summit of Softball Complex.

Seventeen teams from Eastern and Middle Tennessee and one from Alabama will begin pool play Friday. The first action is scheduled at 4:30.

More pool games will take place Saturday morning at 9 and 10:30. Then, based on pool-play results, teams will be placed in Gold and Silver brackets for single-elimination play slated to start at 12:15. The Silver final is scheduled on Field No. 6 at 4:30 p.m. The Gold championship is set for 6 on Field No. 5.

"I think they're all quality teams," said Norma Nelson, who ran the same tournament during her 20 years as head coach at Ooltewah before taking over at East Hamilton this season."We've got a lot of really good teams from the Chattanooga area. I think it's going to be a really good tournament."

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.

about Kelley Smiddie...

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 ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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