Polk County went into Tuesday’s game playing well, finishing in the top four of last weekend’s Tiger Classic at Dayton. Central came into the game having placed ninth in the Commando Classic in Henderson, a tournament of 58 teams.
Polk County did not swing the bats well against Willard. She gave up only one hit, that coming in the bottom of the final inning when Jordan Triplett blooped a single over the shortstop’s head.
Willard had 10 strikeouts in the five-inning affair, walking one and hitting one batter.
Triplett suffered the mound defeat for Polk County, giving up nine hits, striking out six and issuing one walk.
“It was just one of those games,” said Polk County coach Johnny Hayes after the game. “We just couldn’t hit the ball.”
Hayes paid tribute to Willard’s performance. “She has a good rise ball, and she kept us off balance,” he said.
Central coach Lee Anne Shurette was pleased with her team’s performance. “We’re playing better softball,” she said after the Lady Pounders improved to 6-4 on the season. Polk County dropped to 4-4.
Central will visit Bradley County Thursday for another softball game. The Lady Pounders will be at Walker Valley High School to challenge the highly regarded Lady Mustangs.
Shortstop Brook Womack had the big bat for the Lady Pounders at the plate. She had one-third of Central’s hits, getting a home run and two singles for two RBIs.
Central’s other hits were scattered throughout the lineup. Raney Jackson had a solid double, with Brooke Eller, Ciera Belcher, Willard, Jade Stocker and Jasmine Gobb all getting singles.
Triplett’s blooper was the only safety for the Lady Wildcats, who also committed four errors.
Womack got her first hit in the first inning as the Lady Pounders took the lead on an error.
Polk County had a “hit” in the bottom of the first inning — but it was when third baseman Sydney Cloan was hit by a pitch.
Both teams went down calmly in the second frame, but Central put two additional runs across the plate in the third. Eller led off with a single and Womack sent a long two-run homer over the left field fence
The Lady Pounders got two more runs in the fourth on a single by Belcher and a bunt by Stocker that was fielded but promptly thrown into the right-field corner.
Chattanooga Central put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth with five more runs. Jackson slammed her double into left field, Womack followed with a single and another bunt was once again thrown into right field for three additional scores. Singles by Willard and Stocker, and another error, accounted for the final two runs.
Willard appeared on her way to a short no-hitter, but Triplett spoiled that assumption with her bloop single before the game ended.
n The Polk County coaching staff was pleased with the team’s advance to the tournament semifinals in Dayton this past weekend. There were 16 teams competing in four pools.
The Lady Wildcats defeated Bradley Central, Christian Heritage and Johnson County. They were beaten by Stone Memorial and then eliminated in the semifinals by Clarksville Northeast in a close (2-1) game.
LADY POUNDERS 10, LADY WILDCATS 0
Chattanooga Central 102 25 — 10 9 0
Polk County 000 00 — 0 1 4
WP: Shelby Willby and Hannah Powell. LP: Jordan Triplett and Lily Cuzzort. Highlights: Central — Shelby Willard HR, 2 1B, 2 RBIs. Raney Jackson, 2B. Polk County — Jordan Triplett 1B. Pitching: Willard 10 K, a walk and a hit batter. Triplett 6 K and a walk.