With a pair of close one-run games earlier in the week against the District 5-AAA elite — Soddy-Daisy and Ooltewah — the Lady Mustangs unloaded on their cross-county rivals with a 14-0 stampede.
“We jumped on top early and kept the pressure up,” proclaimed second-year Walker Valley head coach Lauren Limburg. “I’m proud of the way we are playing. Proud of the team effort we are getting. Everybody is contributing.”
Tied with Ooltewah for second in the district with a 6-2 mark, the Lady Mustangs improved to 17-6 overall and will take the weekend off before returning to league play Monday in Dayton where they will take on Rhea County at the Bryan College facilities.
After defeating Sweetwater 5-2 Wednesday, Bradley slips 8-11 overall and 2-5 in 5-AAA games and will also wait until the first of next week to play again, traveling to district leader Soddy-Daisy Monday.
Walker Valley had base runners in every inning Thursday at Bob McKenzie Field, while ripping 18 hits, including eight in the opening at bat.
After Hallie Davis opened the game with a walk, Baylee Boen, Sidney Hooper and Cleveland State signee Leslie Still followed with consecutive RBI-doubles.
Another walk and the first of two Bearette errors in the frame then loaded the bases before Allie Morrow plated Still with an infield hit. With the sacks still jammed, Rachel Percy stepped in the box and delivered the biggest blow of the rally — a three-run triple in the right-center field gap.
After the first out was finally recorded, Percy scored on an error that allowed Davis to reach base for the second time, then Boen, Hooper and Still strung together three straight singles, with Hooper’s driving in the final run of the rally.
Hooper then stepped in the circle and set down the first 10 Bradley batters in order before giving up a fourth inning double to Bearette senior Courtney Webb. Hooper improved to 9-6 on the season with four strikeouts and no walks in four innings of work.
After going scoreless for three innings, Walker Valley got the merry-go-round going again in the top of the fifth with Hooper and Lara Bean stroking RBI-doubles and Still blasting a three-run homer over the left the left-center field fence. Davis and Eryn Walker also doubled and scored in the rally while Bayleigh Morgan singled and ended up circling the bases as well.
Bradley did get a pair of base runners in the bottom of the fifth as freshman Abby Abernathy singled and junior Tori Roberts drew a one-out walk before Lady Mustang reliever Mackenzie Elrod shut the door with a strikeout and a groundout.
Hooper went 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles, a triple, three RBIs and she scored twice. Still was 3-for-4 with the “blast,” a double, four “ribbees” and a couple of runs scored.
Boen and Morrow added two hits apiece, with each driving in a teammate and scoring.
“You can’t make the errors we made and give a team like Walker Valley extra chances,” lamented Bearette assistant coach Terry McElhaney. “We are better than we showed today.”
LADY MUSTANGS 14, BEARETTES 0
Walker Valley 900 05 — 14 18 0
Bradley Central 000 00 — 0 2 3
WP: Sidney Hooper (9-6) 4 IP, 4 Ks, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 ER. LP: Nikki Ramsey. HR: Leslie Still (WV). 3B: Rachel Percy, Sidney Hooper (WV). 2B: Hooper 2, Baylee Boen, Hallie Davis, Eryn Walker, Lara Bean, Still (WV); Courtney Webb (BC). RBIs: Still 4, Percy 3, Hooper 3, Allie Morrow, Bean (WV). Highlights: Hooper 4-for-4, 3B, 2 2B, 3 RBI 2 r; Still 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 r; Boen 2-for-2 2B, RBI, r; Morrow 2-for-3, RBI, r (WV). Records: Walker Valley 17-6, 6-2 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 8-11, 2-5 District 5-AAA.