Softball sectionals delayed till Sunday
Because of Saturday’s rain, the two remaining TSSAA softball state sectionals to be played in the Chattanooga area have been rescheduled for today. Both are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. EDT.
In Class A, Arts & Sciences is set to host Trousdale County at Central High School. Normally the Lady Patriots play their home games at Warner Park, but because a tournament was scheduled there this weekend they were able to work out an agreement with Central.
In Class AA, Sequatchie County is slated to host Polk County at Dunlap.
Today’s winners will advance to next week’s state tournament at Murfreesboro. The season ends for the losing teams.
Today’s forecast from the National Weather Service includes a 60 percent chance of showers and possible thunderstorms.
FOLKSTON, Ga. — The idea of a split of Saturday's doubleheader in the GHSA Class A public school baseball state championship series was certainly a possibility to Mike Dunfee. How it transpired, though, was far from what the Gordon Lee coach expected.
His Trojans erupted for a 13-7 win in game one over host Charlton County and top pitcher Jesse King, but in game two, with ace Conard Broom on the mound, Gordon Lee was a bit too generous, issuing 10 walks in a 7-3 loss. Game three is Monday at 2, a repeat of last season's three-game set between the teams.
"Everything is the same this year," Dunfee said before adding, "except for the result. We have to get that in our gut, that this will be a different ending. Every one of our pitchers were laboring in the second game trying to find out what the strike zone was, but give Charlton credit for doing what they had to do to extend the series."
The Trojans (26-7) sent 15 batters to the plate in the mammoth game-one fourth inning, 13 facing King -- who came in with an ERA well below 1 -- before the side-arming right-hander was pulled. Logan Peterson led off the at-bat with a home run and Broom followed with a double.
Will Goodman added a one-out RBI single for a 3-2 Gordon Lee lead, and there were runners on third and first with two out when usually reliable Richard Dasher committed the first of three errors in the inning to open the floodgates. Braxton Salmon, Goodman and Zach Cobb added RBI hits to give starting pitcher Jake Rogers more than enough runs.
He went four-plus innings before tiring, with Goodman going the final three innings for the save.
Game two was tied at 1 entering the fifth when Broom, who had accounted for Gordon Lee's run with a third-inning homer, lost the strike zone. After striking out nine in four innings he walked the No. 8 hitter and hit No. 9 batter Derek King. Dunfee elected to walk dangerous L.J. Talley intentionally, but on a 3-2 pitch to Jesse King, Broom was called for a balk when he saw catcher Peterson trying to call time. King followed with a two-run single and a 4-1 Charlton lead.
"I started to get a bit wild in the fifth and left a couple of pitches up," said Broom, who was pulled after the long inning. "I hit a couple of batters also and just lost my timing. We just have to come back Monday and get the job done. We hit the ball well today. We just didn't get them at the right time."
The Trojans had nine hits in the final four innings but could only muster single runs in the sixth and seventh. Meanwhile, Charlton scored three more in the sixth on one hit, courtesy of five walks and an error. Charlton's Talley went the distance, and though he gave up 12 hits he did not walk a batter.
"I would have felt we would have won that game if we outhit them like that, but 10 walks killed us," Dunfee said. "We've got to keep swinging it to win it Monday. We've still got plenty of pitching left."
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or at 423-757-6296.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...