The Lady Mustangs listened well.
Walker Valley (23-9) exploded for four runs in the first, five in the second and four more in the third to easily eliminate the Lady Tribe, 14-2.
The win sets the Lady Mustangs up for another elimination game today a 5 p.m., this time with Rhea County.
From there, it does not get any easier for Walker Valley. A win against the Lady Eagles will pit the Lady Mustangs in a rematch with Ooltewah (27-10), which fell to top-seeded Soddy-Daisy (38-4) 1-0 in Monday’s nightcap.
“I told them it was a tough loss and obviously, we didn’t play up to our potential with our errors and not getting any runs home,” Limburg said at the postgame meeting. “We are a team of fighters and we just had to come back and fight on Monday, keep the dream alive, keep focusing on what we need to do, be mentally tough and focus on the game at hand and take them one game at a time.”
The Walker Valley lineup was on top of its game from top to bottom Monday beginning with back-to-back-to-back singles by Baylee Boen, Sidney Hooper and Leslie Still. A walk to Mackenzie Elrod tied the game at 1-1. Eryn Walker stepped in next to double in two more and one more run touched home on a McMinn error.
Hallie Davis reached on a sacrifice bunt in the second and later scored on a Boen single. Still made it 9-1 with a home run over the left-center field fence.
The Lady Mustangs did not let off the throttle in the bottom of the third.
Rachel Percy and Boen reached on walks. Morgan Elrod and Mackenzie Elrod singled and Still smacked a double for the Lady Mustangs. Walker Valley was helped by two McMinn errors in building the 14-1 lead.
The Lady Tribe managed one more run in the bottom of the fifth to make the final score 14-2.
“I thought they played really well. I thought they were focused and came out with a desire to win. They kept fighting and they didn’t let that first McMinn run deter them. I was really proud of that. They stayed focused and knew what they had to do. McMinn is a great team. I'm glad they came out with the intensity that they needed,” said Limburg.
The Lady Mustangs must keep that focus with a potentially long afternoon beginning with the Rhea County Lady Eagles at 5 p.m. A loss will end the season for Walker Valley and a win will send the Lady Mustangs up against Ooltewah at 7 for a shot at the district championship.
“They are fighters. They are fighters for sure. I've got confidence in them and I'm hoping they will come back with that same fire and intensity tomorrow. We have Rhea the first game and they beat us last time. We've got a tough task. They are a great team. We've got to bring everything we have and stay focused,” said the Walker Valley coach.
LADY MUSTANGS 14, LADY CHEROKEES 2
McMinn County 100 01 - 2 4 5
Walker Valley 545 0x - 14 8 0
WP: Sidney Hooper. LP: Watson. HR: Leslie Still (WV). 2B: Watson (MC); Still, Eryn Walker (WV). Highlights: Watson 2-3 (MC); Baylee Boen 2-3, Still 3-3 (WV). Records: Walker Valley 23-9.