The Lady Mustangs played well enough to win over Ooltewah on the softball field Thursday, but picked it up a notch in the sixth and put the finishing touches on the 11-0 win over the Lady Owls with a Rachel Percy walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the sixth.
“It is a great win. Ooltewah is a great team, they are an excellent team,” said a pleased Walker head coach Lauren Limburg. “I’m proud of our girls for continuing to fight every inning and continuing to support their pitcher. I thought we played great defense and I thought (starting pitcher) Sidney (Hooper) pitched a great game. Her pitches were moving around really well.”
Defensively, Limburg said the Lady Mustangs (6-1, 3-0 District 5-AAA) were up to the task.
“I have been preaching to the girls about expecting the ball and being ready every pitch, but sometimes I think we get a little complacent maybe; if the ball hasn’t come to them in a while, their minds wander. I thought they did an excellent job of staying on top of it today,” she said.
The Lady Mustangs produced all the runs they needed in the bottom of the first. Hallie Davis and Percy started the inning off with a walk and single. Both crossed the plate on an Ooltewah error. The third run came on a Mackenzie Elrod RBI single.
Four and a half scoreless innings of a pitcher’s duel followed, highlighted by Hooper’s performance in the top of the fifth. The senior ace got two strikeouts and a ground ball with nobody out and two runners on, preserving the shutout. Hooper fanned eight Lady Owls on the afternoon. From there, the Lady Mustangs broke the game open with a four-run sixth.
Sophomore catcher A.J. Chancey made it a 5-0 game with a 2-run homer over the left-field fence of Larry Haney Field. Pinch hitter Emilee Spann followed with a double down the right-field line and later scored on a Hooper single along with Davis who earlier reached on a walk.
The 7-0 lead lasted only long enough for the Lady Mustangs to load the bases with only one out, setting the scene for Percy. With Walker Valley needing only a single run to end the game, Percy went one step further with a no-doubt grand slam over the left-field fence to give the Lady Mustangs the 11-0, run-rule win.
“We remember the home runs, those are great hits. But, we had a lot of other great hits as well. I think that says a lot about our team. Ooltewah is a great team and we are excited about the win,” said Limburg.
Ooltewah 000 000 — 0 4 4
Walker Valley 300 008 — 11 10 0
WP: Sidney Hooper (4-1) 8 Ks; LP: Taylor Hicks. HR: A.J. Chancey, Rachel Percy, grand slam (WV). 2B: Hallie Davis, Emilee Spann (WV). Other highlights: Mackenzie Elrod 2-4, Baylee Boen 2-4 (WV); Allie Jones 2-3 (O). Records: Ooltewah 2-5, 0-3 District 5-AAA; Walker Valley 6-1, 3-0.