In an evening of three different District 5-AAA tournament games, Bradley Central would face an elimination game against Ooltewah, while Walker Valley had the chance to secure a trip to the Region 3-AAA Tournament with a win over Soddy-Daisy.
Unfortunately, both teams found themselves on the losing side of things as it was the Lady Owls and the Lady Trojans who walked away with the wins.
The Bearettes got the evening started for Bradley County, albeit a little late due to a one-hour rain delay during the previous game between McMinn County and Rhea County.
The Lady Owls got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Kelsey Chernak’s triple left her in a scoring position. With runners on first and third, Sloan Sullivan’s single was enough to bring Chernak in for the first run.
Ooltewah was able to get two more runs in before Bradley Central’s defense could close out the inning.
Another three runs from the Lady Owls in the bottom of the second brought the Bearettes to a six-run deficit early on in the game.
Bradley Central’s bats worked to get the team back in it, but Ooltewah’s defense was quick to close out any rally attempts by the trailing team.
The Bearettes didn’t go down without a fight, and were able to hold the Lady Owls runless after the second inning.
A quick double play by shortstop Von Harrison successfully ended Ooltewah’s scoring efforts in the sixth inning.
“We made some good infield plays and I had some people at the plate do somethings that they’ve struggled with all year,” Bradley head coach Christie McElhaney said. “Megan Ward is usually a 99.9 percent pull hitter, she went with a high side pitch and drove herself for a base hit. There were things that we did that we’ve wanted to accomplish all year, it was just a little too late in some cases.”
As the game came to a close, so did the Bearettes’ season. The ladies in Black and Gold finished out the year with an overall record of 9-19.
“We had a lot of tight ballgames that could’ve gone either way. We lost to some teams that we shouldn’t have lost to and beat some teams that we probably weren’t expected to beat,” McElhaney commented. “All in all there were improvements, but there are going to be some big shoes to fill for the younger girls since we’re losing seven seniors.”
LADY TROJANS 6,
LADY MUSTANGS 2
Coming into Wednesday evening’s game against Soddy-Daisy, Walker Valley was having a banner year.
The Lady Mustangs boasted an overall record of 25-4, and went undefeated in district play during the regular season.
Even though the night started out on a high note for Walker Valley, it was Soddy-Daisy that ultimately came out on top.
The Lady Trojans were able to finally avenge their regular season losses to the Navy-and-Gold during the District 5-AAA winner’s bracket final.
“Soddy is an excellent team and they played better than us tonight and had a great win,” Walker Valley head coach Lauren Limburg said.
The Lady Mustangs made quick work of their opponent to start out the game, with Sidney Hooper striking out two and the defense getting a runner out at first.
Hallie Davis got things started in familiar fashion as she smashed one up and over the left-field fence on Soddy’s second pitch of the night. Davis’ solo home run gave Walker Valley its only run of the first inning.
It was Davis who also helped bring in the Lady Mustangs’ second and final run of the game in the bottom of the second.
Alicia Raymond was waiting at first when Davis came up to the plate again.
Lady Trojan pitcher Ashley Chaney threw a couple of wild pitches to the hard-hitting Lady Mustang, giving Raymond the chance to make it to third.
Davis hit one to the left-field fence, driving Raymond home with her double.
Walker Valley was able to hold off Soddy-Daisy for one more inning before the proverbial train came off the tracks.
A triple by Tori Denayer in the top of the fourth gave the Lady Trojans their first run. A follow-up hit to center field resulted in Denayer coming in for the tying run.
The tied game proved to be motivation enough for the No. 2 seeded team to overtake the No. 1 seeded Lady Mustangs by two runs in the fifth inning.
Walker Valley’s attempts at retaking the lead were all thwarted by their surging opponent.
Soddy-Daisy was able to add two more runs to the scoreboard in the top of the seventh, and Lady Mustangs were unable to get their bats going at the right time.
“We started off well and I think we didn’t get key hits and got caught up in not being focused every pitch. I think we got rattled at the plate — not hitting strikes, guessing, and not reacting,” Limburg commented.
With their 6-2 victory, the Lady Trojans now make up one of the two teams that will be continuing on to the regional competition.
Walker Valley will have to defeat the winner of tonight’s game between Rhea County and Ooltewah if they hope to extend their postseason any further. The Lady Mustangs will play their to-be-determined opponent Friday at 4 p.m.
“We have a decision to make. We have to come out and we have to fight,” Limburg proclaimed. “What you do after a defeat shows your true character. We have to come back out and fight on Friday.”
Bradley Central 000 000 0 — 0 3 0
Ooltewah 330 000 x — 6 10 2
WP: Taylor Hicks LP: Allison Conley 3B: Kelsy Chernak, Elizabeth Novelli (O). 2B: Sloan Sullivan (O). Highlights: Conley 2-3 (BC); Ashunti Cooper 2-3, run; Chernak 2-3, RBI, 2 runs; Sullivan 2-3, 2 RBI, run (O). Records: Bradley Central 9-19; Ooltewah 21-15.
Soddy-Daisy 000 220 2 — 6 12 0
Walker Valley 110 000 0 — 2 8 3
WP: Ashley Chaney LP: Sidney Hooper HR: Hallie Davis (WV) 3B: Tori Denayer (SD). 2B:Davis (WV), Denayer, Cassidy Hackney (SD). Highlights: Davis 3-4, 2 RBI (WV); Denayer 3-4, 2 RBI; Haley Reynolds 3-3, 2 RBI (SD). Records: Walker Valley 25-5; Soddy-Daisy 26-11.