Wednesday’s game against the Lady Cherokees never made it past the fifth inning, and Walker Valley secured itself another 5-AAA win as it trampled the Tribe 14-0 in a run-rule shortened contest.
“I thought it was a complete team effort. The girls throughout the lineup did a great job, we had different people step up at different times,” Lady Mustang head coach Lauren Limburg commented.
The Lady Mustangs’ hit parade was started off by Hallie Davis, who once again knocked one out of the ballpark on the second pitch of the game.
Davis’ home run would be the start of the Walker Valley mini home run derby, as three more of her teammates were able to follow suit.
The Tribe got the chance to get some runs early on in the evening as a walk loaded the bases with only one out.
The Lady Mustangs were able to catch McMinn at the plate, but the bases still remained loaded with one out remaining.
A quick play to first base dashed the Lady Cherokees’ chances of putting any runs up on the board in not only the first inning, but for the rest of the game.
“Our defense did really well. It was a big thing to stop them that first inning when they had the bases loaded — that was a real momentum builder for us,” Limburg explained. “McMinn is a team that has been scoring, scoring, scoring. They’re a great team and I think it was huge for us to not allow them to score in that first inning.”
Walker Valley’s next run came in the second, as a hit to right field by Alicia Raymond drove Bayleigh Morgan home.
After a scoreless third inning, the Lady Mustangs took an impressive lead after scoring eight more runs in the fourth.
Rachel Percy got things started with a double and Raymond followed with a single of her own.
A walk by the Tribe’s overwhelmed pitcher then loaded up the bases, and unlike their district opponent, Walker Valley was able to take full advantage of the situation.
Davis hit a solid grounder and brought Percy home.
Baylee Boen got out at first, but her hit was enough to drive Raymond in for another run.
With runners on second and third, McMinn attempted to switch things up with a pitching change.
A wild pitch led to another run for the Navy-and-Gold, and soon the bases were loaded once again.
Another walk thanks to shaky pitching brought home another Lady Mustang.
Morgan struck out, bringing Walker Valley to two outs and the bases still loaded.
AJ Chancey stepped up to the plate next and blasted one over the left field fence, getting a grand slam for the Lady Mustangs.
“I think it shows that our girls have put a lot of effort into their hitting and focus at the plate and I’m just proud of them for their effort,” Limburg said. “It was a total team win. We couldn’t do it without every one of these girls.”
In the fifth Walker Valley added another four runs to the scoreboard, with three coming from two more home runs.
The third homer came from Brittany Nettles. The fourth and final homer of the evening was hit by Mackenzie Elrod, and got the Lady Mustangs two more runs.
Despite their stellar hitting Wednesday evening, Limburg still sees an area where she would like to see her team improve.
“You always have room to improve as a team, and I think our pitch selection has got to improve. Sometimes we get so anxious to hit that we hit balls that aren’t strikes. We’ve got to make sure that we hit strikes and, if we do swing at a bad one, that we just focus back in.”
Winning pitcher Sidney Hooper threw the entire game, getting four strikeouts. Hooper walked only one and gave up only four hits.
Wednesday night’s win brings the Lady Mustangs to a record of 11-2 and a perfect 5-0 in their district.
Due to inclement weather, Walker Valley’s third district game of the week, against Cleveland, has been postponed.
Walker Valley 110 84 — 14 11 1
McMinn County 000 00 — 0 4 2
WP: Sidney Hooper (8-2) 5 IP, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts, 1 BB LP: D. Watson HR: Hallie Davis; Mackenzie Elrod; AJ Chancey (grand slam); Brittany Nettles (WV). 2B: S. Hooper, Bayleigh Morgan, Chancey (WV); Yarber (MC). Highlights: Davis 2-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Elrod 2-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Chancey 2-4, 4 RBIs, 2 runs; Nettles 1-2, 1 RBI, 2 runs. Records: Walker Valley 11-2, 5-0 5-AAA.