ATHENS — With the sky threatening to dump more rain on the Athens Regional Softball Complex, Yoshi Hooks and the Lady Raiders thought it best to put Tellico Plains away quickly in their 88 Stitches tournament opener.
Hooks did her part, tossing a no-hitter in her second game back after being absent from the Cleveland lineup. The senior lefty faced only 17 Lady Bears, struck out eight batters and gave up a walk in the near-perfect, 6-0 win.
“She is just kind of getting back into the swing of things. She has only pitched a few games. She has been out a while and is having to come back quickly and build up strength. That is a challenge and she has done very well,” said Cleveland coach Connie Stobert of her ace. “The good thing is we have versatility with a number of pitchers depending on which combination we want to work each night. It gives Yoshi some time to build back her strength.”
Cleveland opened with a walk issued to Hooks who scored minutes later on a Jacora Parker double to right-center field. The Lady Raiders took a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the second inning when Nanea Haruo smoked a single just inside the bag at third and scurried to second on a slow throw to the infield. Haruo dashed to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball.
The Lady Raiders locked up the game with a big fourth inning.
Brittany Arnold walked and moved up on an infield hit and bunt single from Jasmine Martin and Carly Frost respectively. Arnold and Martin came home on a Kayla Lee fielder’s choice. Frost and Lee scored on groundouts to make it 6-0.
“It was a good way to start back coming off four days off with spring break. It was a good way for us to get ready for next week with Walker Valley and Bradley,” Stobert said. “To get those wins under out belt feels really good.”
LADY RAIDERS 5,
LADY PANTHERS 2
The Lady Raiders closed out their Friday softball run with a 5-2 win over Sale Creek.
Against the Lady Panthers, Frost stepped inside the circle with a light rain falling and notched the win for Cleveland. Frost gave up three hits and one earned run while fanning five Lady Panthers.
“Carly did really well. It was just a light rain but it was still rain. I told the pitchers after the game there will be times you will have to play when the ball is going to be wet, and they will have to press through. Everybody has to play with the same wet ball. That is where they have to be tough, grip the seams and work a little bit harder,” the Cleveland coach stated.
Jacora Parker ended her day with two hits in two trips to the plate while Yoshi Hooks was 2-for-3. Haruo was 1-for-2 with a run batted in while Arnold, Hanah Holland and Lee also had an RBI each.
“The girls played really well both games. They were solid on defense and that was a difference maker for us. We are still hitting the ball which is great, but the fact we made minimal errors makes a huge difference in our game. It is a huge confidence builder for them,” said Stobert.
LADY RAIDERS 6,
LADY BLUE DEVILS 1
On Saturday, Frost struck out six and scattered just three hits in five innings in the circle as Cleveland blanked Harriman 6-0.
Frost helped her own cause with a triple and scored a run, while Hooks roped a three-bagger and scored twice in the victory.
Parker went 3-for-3 with a double and touched home twice, while Martin and Holland both got a hit. Martin also scored a run.
LADY INDIANS 6,
LADY RAIDERS 1
Cleveland suffered its lone loss in the event in falling by a 6-1 tally against Sequatchie County Saturday.
Hooks struck out a half dozen in five frames of work, but a pair of Lady Raider errors led to three unearned runs.
Hooks stroked another triple in the contest and scored the lone Cleveland run, while Parker went 2-for-3 and Holland and Taylor Yoder both reached base.