“I’m proud of the effort we gave today,” declared Lady Mustang head coach Lauren Limberg after the 6-5 victory. “We had a complete team effort and we continued to fight to the very end.”
Walker Valley’s 14 hits were spread out among nine batters, five of whom laced two hits apiece.
The Lady Mustangs face a tough test again today as 2013 TSSAA State Tournament participant East Hamilton comes to town to open the District 5-AAA slate.
The Lady Hurricanes, who just moved up to Class AAA this year, blasted Ooltewah 10-4 Tuesday in their first district game.
“East Hamilton is an excellent team, so this will be a huge game for us,” Coach Limberg stated.
Both Rhea and Walker Valley got runners on base, but couldn’t get them around in the first two innings Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles (0-2) struck first when Delaney Smith led off the top of the third with a triple that hopped the first-base bag on its way to the right field corner.
Amy Lewis followed with a single to put the first run on the board.
The Lady Mustangs answered when junior Carly Frost and senior Baylee Boen opened the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles.
After Rachel Percy bunted them over, junior all-stater Hallie Davis smacked her second straight double to open the season, driving them both home.
The visitors tied the score with a solo run in their next at bat with a single from Sarah Beth Mitchell and a two-bagger by Tori Gentry.
Coach Limberg’s “Fillies” put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth when junior AJ Chancey led off with a double, sophomore Emilee Spann ripped a one-out RBI-single and Frost followed with a double to bring home the other run.
Rhea County took the lead in the top of the fifth with a three-run rally, with one run coming in on a wild pitch, while Courtney Filyaw doubled home the other two.
Once again the Lady Mustangs answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame with senior Alicia Raymond lacing a one-out single, with junior Lara Bean and Spann both coming through with two-out RBI-hits.
Neither team was able to push another run across in the final three at bats, although Rhea threatened in the top of the seventh with a couple of base runners advancing to second and third before the final out was recorded.
“We left too many runners on base (six), especially early on,” remarked Coach Limberg. “Rhea is a good team and put us to the test. This is a good win to start the season on.”
Spann, Percy, Chancey, Bean and Frost all went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Davis was 2-for-4 with her two doubles and a pair of RBI.
Frost also had a two-bagger and drove in a run, while Chancey had a double, plus Spann plated a pair of teammates.
Frost went the first four innings in the circle, striking out two and walking just one while allowing a half dozen hits and a couple of earned runs.
Raymond came on to hurl the final three innings and picked up the pitching victory with one strikeout, a walk, a hit batsman, four hits and a trio of earned runs.
Rhea County 001 130 0 — 5 10 0
Walker Valley 002 220 x — 6 14 1
WP: Alicia Raymond (1-0) 3 IP, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 4 hits, 3 ER; LP: Baliee Rumer (0-1) 4.2 IP, 0 Ks, 0 BB, 14 hits, 6 ER. 3B: Delaney Smith (RC); 2B: Tori Gentry, Courtney Filyaw, Sara Beth Mitchell (RC); Halle Davis 2, AJ Chancey, Carly Frost (WV); RBI: Filyaw 2, Amy Lewis, Gentry (RC); Davis 2, Emilee Spann 2, Frost, Lara Bean (WV). Highlights: Lewis 3-4, RBI, run, Gentry 2-3, 2B, RBI (RC); Davis 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, Chancey 2-3, 2B, Bean 2-3, RBI, run, Spann 2-3, 2 RBI, Rachel Percy 2-3, Frost 2-3, 4 IP, 2 K’s, 1 BB, 6 hits, 2 ER (WV). Records: Rhea County 0-2; Walker Valley 1-0.