Sydney Hooper and Mackenzie Elrod did the trick at the plate for Walker Valley. Hooper sent a pair of softballs over the fence and Elrod ended the game in the bottom of the sixth with a walk-off blast.
“I was really proud of their effort. We started off a little shaky the first inning, I challenged them and they fought back incredibly. It was a total team effort,” said Lady Mustangs coach Lauren Limburg. “I thought Eryn (Walker) pitched a great ballgame. They girls backed her up on defense and we got the bats going. We struggled hitting Tuesday and to be able to come out and put the bat on the ball against a quality opponent like Polk County is really good.”
Lady Wildcats coach Bill Triplett said his girls are learning and stepping up from AA to AAA softball is a big leap for such a young squad.
“When you step up and play triple A people, they see that kind of pitching every day. They have to beat Soddy-Daisy, Ooltewah and those teams. They see the kind of pitching we throw at them every day. We’ve got to pitch in place and we didn’t do it. We’ve got to keep it as close as we can for as long as we can. We are not ready for AAA right now,” Triplett said.
“We had Cleveland yesterday and had a chance to beat them but like I said, these guys have to worry about beating Soddy and Ooltewah, not Polk County. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about those. I’ve got to worry about beating Meigs County, Sweetwater and Sequoyah. I’m just glad next week we are back in some double A action.”
Walker Valley wasted little time getting on the board in the bottom of the first. Hallie Davis led off for the Lady Mustangs with a double to left field. Davis moved to third on a NO. 17 sacrifice bunt and scored on Sidney Hooper’s sacrifice fly. Leslie Still stepped in and followed up with a double to left and scored on Elrod’ single to make it 2-0.
The Lady Mustangs got a lead-off single from Davis in the lower portion of the third and took a 4-0 lead when Hooper took Polk’s Jordan Triplett deep to left-center field for a 2-run home run.
After a scoreless fourth, Walker Valley got on the board again in the fifth courtesy of Hooper who drove the first pitch of the Lady Mustangs’ inning over the right-center field fence. Still stepped in next and delivered a triple to right and scored when Elrod smacked Walker Valley’s third consecutive hit to make it 6-0.
The Lady Mustangs closed out the afternoon with four runs in the sixth.
Walker led off with a single and two outs later and Hooper walked. A double to left-center off the bat of Still scored Walker and Hooper putting the Lady Mustangs up 8-0. Taking her cue from teammate Hoooper, Elrod launched the first pitch she saw down the left-field line and clearing the fence ending the game with a walk-off homer to make the final score 10-0.
“The girls are building more confidence. We’ve tried to instill confidence in them by doing the fundamentals and working on those things in practice. We continue to hit and hit and hit. I think it’s really starting to pay off. We still have a lot of work to do and we will continue to put in the time at practice and continue to fight,” said Limburg.
LADY MUSTANGS 10, LADY WILDCATS 0
Polk County 000 000 — 0 6 3
Walker Valley 202 024 — 10 10 1
WP: Eryn Walker 5K. LP: Jordan Triplett. HR: Sydney Hooper (2), Elrod (WV). 3B: Leslie Still (WV). 2B: Caroline Jenkins (PC); Still (2), Hallie Davis (WV). Highlights: Jenkins 2-3 (PC); Hooper 2-2, Still 3-3, Elrod 3-3, Davis 2-3. Records: Polk County 13-10; Walker Valley 13-3.