WHITWELL, Tenn. — Clinging to its final out in its final at-bat, Whitwell seemed to be on the verge of ending its softball season Monday.
But trailing by one run in the home half of the eighth inning, the Lady Tigers rallied to tie the game on a bang-bang play at the plate, then took advantage of the first error of the game by Silverdale Baptist Academy for a 4-3 Region 3-A semifinal decision.
"That's a testament to these girls, the whole team, for not giving up," Whitwell coach Derrin Easterly said. "We got off to a slow start and had to fight for everything, but they just kept coming back.
"We just wanted to get some people on base in that last inning and see what happened."
The Lady Tigers (23-5) will play Arts & Sciences in Wednesday's region final at Warner Park at 6 p.m.
Silverdale Baptist led throughout much of the game, scoring two runs in the second inning on a single by Madi Hancock and an RBI fielder's choice for Bri Leffew.
Whitwell got one in the fourth on an RBI single from Carley Long and tied the game with another run in the sixth off Long's bat.
After SBA regained the lead in the eighth on Elise Pearson's two-out RBI single, the Lady Seahawks were on the verge of advancing when they got two quick outs in the bottom of the inning. But sophomore Rebecca Muir followed Long's base hit with an RBI single to tie the game, and after a walk to Alyssa Coppinger, Muir came home when Storm Roberts' hard grounder was mishandled.
"That was the best feeling in the world to see that I was safe and the game was over," Muir said. "We knew we had to just keep fighting to the end, and that's what we did."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...