Saturday, at Soddy-Daisy, the Lady Raiders fought off elimination and a late Bradley rally with a 6-2 win over the Bearettes.
"We had a lot of missed opportunities. We left 14 runners on the bag. We had our opportunities to score, we just waited a little too late in the game to start ushering runs across home," said Bearettes coach Christie McElhaney after talking with her team. They (Cleveland) hit well today. We just had missed opportunities. Once we got runners on we kind of fizzled."
The Bearettes fell behind early thanks to a run scoring sacrifice fly by Hannah Holland and a 2-out home run to left field by Brittany Arnold, her third of the year.
The Lady Raiders took a 3-0 lead on back-to-back doubles by Carly Frost and Abi Dye.
Bradley Central threatened in the bottom of the third loading the bases with one out and forcing a pitching change by Cleveland. Lady Raiders coach Connie Stobert lifted Yoshi Hooks in favor of Frost and the freshman lefty put out the fire striking out the next two batters to retire the side.
The Lady Raiders added one more in the top of the fourth after Nanea Haruo doubled to left-center field and scored on a Bradley error to make it 4-0. Cleveland tacked on two more in the fifth on singles by Arnold and Jasmine Martin.
The Bearettes suffered one final injury for the season when left fielder Cassandra Fowler went down with a cut above her left eye after losing a fly ball in the sun. Fowler walked off the field under her own power after being attended to.
"She will have some stitches. It caught her just above the eyebrow, but she will be fine," McElaney said of her starter.
Bradley made a final run in their last at bat after Tori Roberts opened the inning with a double to left. A sacrifice fly made it 6-3, but the Lady Raiders slammed the door getting the final to outs to lock up the win.
"We were just riddled with injuries and sickness all season long, And even in our final game, we had another one get hurt," said McElhaney. "All season long we never had what I thought would be a true nine. There was always somebody in somebody's spot. Hopefully, next year we can come back healthy."
LADY OWLS 4,
LADY MUSTANGS 0
After watching Soddy-Daisy defeat Rhea County, 5-3, in the second game of the day, The Walker Valley Lady Mustang's took on the Lady Owls of Ooltewah in another winner's bracket game.
Struggling in the field and at the plate, the Lady Mustangs fell behind the Lady Owls and slipped to the loser's bracket with a 4-0 loss.
"We made some errors for sure. It just didn't seem like we quite had it today," said a subdued Walker Valley coach Lauren Limburg. "It is disappointing after we played so well the two previous times against Ooltewah. We just didn't quite bring it today.
"We had some bright spots and did some good things, but overall we didn't have enough to get the victory for sure. Ooltewah played a great game. They were there and they were ready."
Walker Valley had a chance to get on the board in the top of the second when Morgan Elrod walked and Eryn Walker reached on a single to right field. But both runners were left stranded keeping the 0-0 score intact.
Ooltewah took advantage of Walker Valley errors to put runs on the board in the third. The Lady Mustangs committed three errors and the Lady Owls two singles to go up 3-0.
The Lady Mustangs squandered another chance in the upper half of the fourth when Leslie Still smacked a lead-off double but was left standing on third after the third out.
The fourth Walker Valley miscue of the game put the fourth run of the game on the board for the Lady Owls in the fifth inning.
Walker Valley went down in order in the sixth and seventh.
"Absolutely. It comes down to how bad do we want it. We are not out of it yet. We are going to keep fighting, they are fighters," said Limburg. "McMinn is a great team and we will have to come back and do our best. We're looking forward to getting back out here for sure."
LADY EAGLES 12,
LADY RAIDERS 2
In the fourth game of the day, the Lady Raiders faced their second elimination game of the afternoon in a matchup with Rhea County.
This time, Cleveland could not muster the power to fly by the Lady Eagles and fell by the wayside with a 12-2, five inning loss.
Rhea County scored first in the bottom of the second. The Lady Eagles sent eight batters to the plate and took advantage of a double, two walks and a hit batter to take a 2-0 lead.
Cleveland's Karli Bledsoe opened the fourth with a single, made it to second and stole third with no outs. But, it was as far as Bledsoe would make it as the Lady Eagles retired the rest of the side.
Rhea pulled out to a to a 5-0 lead in the fourth on back-to-back-to back singles and a walk.
Cleveland tried again in the fourth when Nanea Haruo singled to left. Haruo reached second on Jasmine Martin's sacrifice bunt, but a heads up play be the Rhea first baseman caught Haruo in a rundown to end the inning. The Lady Eagles scored one more in the bottom of the frame to make it 6-0.
Carly Frost gave the Lady Raiders a chance in the fifth with a lead-off single to left and stood on second with no outs after an illegal pitched was called on Rhea County. Abi Dye laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Frost to third and scored when Yoshi Hooks laced a single to right. Bledsoe was thrown out at home on a ground ball back to the pitcher and Hooks came home on another illegal pitch call. The Lady Eagles kept it at 6-2 with a ground ball for the third out.
The Lady Eagles banged out five hits with only one out in their half of the fifth before Stobert lifted reliever Carly Frost for Kayla Lee who stepped in with the bases loaded and the Lady Raiders trailing 9-2. Two more hits ended Cleveland season with a 12-2 loss.
"We were on fire the first game. We were hitting balls to the fence, the whole lineup was. Then, we couldn't get much out of them this game," said Cleveland coach Connie Stobert. "It just didn't happen for us. It happened for Rhea County.
"Our pitchers lost a little umph. They have pitched a lot this past week. But, aside from that our defense made quite a few errors and weren't there to back them up and that hurt us."
"We are a developing team, still. But, we came from five wins last year to 13 this year. We almost tripled out wins. That is outstanding for us. I couldn't be more proud of the way they have come back. They have improved tremendously. That is all I ask. If we can get out here and take steps forward and not back, then they are doing a good job," said Stobert.
LADY RAIDERS 6, BEARETTES 3
Cleveland 210 120 0 — 6 8 2
Bradley Central 000 002 1 — 3 6 3
WP: Yoshi Hooks. LP: Nikki Ramsey. HR: Brittany Arnold (C). 2B: Courtney Webb (BC); Abi Dye, Carly Frost, Nanea Haruo (C). Highlights: Baylee Carroll 2-3 (BC); Arnold 3-4 (C). Records: Cleveland 13-20; Bradley Central 7-18.
LADY OWLS 4, LADY MUSTANGS 0
Walker Valley 000 000 0 — 0 3 4
Ooltewah 003 010 x — 4 5 0
WP: Taylor Baird. LP: Sidney Hooper. 2B: Hooper, Leslie Still (WV). Highlights: Kelsey Chernak 2-4 (O). Records: Walker Valley 22-9; Ooltewah 27-9.