The Central High School softball team set a goal for this week: Win three games.
"That would get us to Murfreesboro for the state tournament," coach LeeAnne Shurette said.
The Lady Pounders have one of those wins.
Central defeated Loudon 4-0 in a Region 3-AA semifinal on a one-hitter thrown by freshman Brooke Parrott.
She retired the first 12 batters she faced -- eight by strikeout -- before Lexi Harmon knocked a single to right field to open the fourth inning.
Parrott finished with 13 strikeouts, allowed the one hit, walked none, never allowed a runner beyond second base and had only two outs recorded in the outfield.
Central (19-21) will go for its second win of the week Wednesday at 5:30 at Polk County in the region final.
Parrott wouldn't call Monday's game the best she's pitched this season.
"I threw a lot of balls in this game," Parrott said. "I've had better games. But my riseball was working today. They were going after it, and it's my best pitch, so I tend to use that."
The Lady Pounders returned to their dugout after Parrott's quick work in the top of the first. Then they struck for two early runs.
Leslie Ainslie and Sam Scott started the inning with singles. Alexis Grampp reached on an error. Parrott drove in Ainslie with a sacrifice fly, and Scott also scooted home when Loudon misplayed the relay throw into the infield.
"I was less stressed out after that," Parrott said. "When we have runs on the board, I feel more relaxed."
Grampp scored in the third inning on a single by Chasidy Ainslie. Then Destiny Payton scored in the fourth on a single by Scott to help the Pounders pad their lead.
"We've seen some pitching like that this season," said Loudon coach Garrett Casson, whose team finished the season 8-20-1. "We knew coming in that we'd have to play a clean game, and we were going to have to score.
"It's hard to score runs on one hit."
A similar performance from Parrott would certainly help the Pounders accomplish their goal for the week.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...