One swing of the bat was all it took for the Lady Mustangs to record their sixth District 5-AAA softball win.
Jordyn Dodson took Cleveland pitcher Haley Hodgson deep to left field for a two-run home run in the bottom of the second and Walker Valley held on for a 3-1 win over the Lady Raiders.
Hodgson held the Lady Mustangs to five hits in the losing effort. Alicia Raymond picked up the win for Walker Valley, giving up only three hits to the Lady Raiders. Both pitchers struck out three batters.
“We couldn’t adjust and that’s something that we as a team as a whole have to work on. We have to be better at adjusting and taking what the pitcher gives us. It’s a mentality we have to take on as a team,” said Lady Mustangs coach Lauren Limburg.
Lady Raiders coach Connie Stobert said Hodgson didn’t have her best stuff but was on target most of the afternoon.
“She did OK today. She’s done better but for the most part she kept them off balance,” said Stobert of her ace. “They are a good-hitting team, for her to throw them off like that, she did well.”
Hodgson and the Lady Raiders took the lead in the top of the first on a Brittany Arnold RBI double that hugged the left-field line. The hit score Lauren Lee who earlier beat out an infield single.
The Lady Mustangs grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the second. Raymond led off with a single and trotted home when Dodson deposited a Hodgson offering into the greenery behind the left-field fence.
“Jordan stepped up really big and got the hit,” lauded Limburg who said patience remains the key for the Lady Mustangs at the plate. “We have to do a better job at the plate of adjusting and hitting good pitches. We’ve got to keep working hard to improve.”
Walker Valley tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after leaving runners stranded in the third and fifth innings.
Raymond did the job for the Lady Mustangs with a one-out RBI double to make it 3-2.
The Lady Raiders missed scoring opportunities in the fifth and seventh, leaving runs on base.
“It was a good ballgame. They started off really good, I was really proud of them. They came out and competed. It was probably the best game they have played in a while. We do a lot of good things, we were doing a lot of things right. We just came up a little bit short,” said Stobert.
“We had a few errors that cost us a little bit but we are minimizing those errors which is good. Those we had were very important and cost us a couple of runs.”
Cleveland is on the road to Hixson this evening for a non-district game with the Lady Wildcats. Walker Valley will make the short trip to Athens for a district game with McMinn County.
“Cleveland played a great game today. They were ready, they were fired up and they played a great game. You have to say good job to them and we have to improve,” said Limburg.
LADY MUSTANGS 3, LADY RAIDERS 1
Cleveland 100 000 0 — 1 3 1
Walker Valley 020 001 x — 3 5 0
WP: Alicia Raymond. LP: Haley Hodgson. 2B: Brittany Arnold (C); AJ Chancey, Raymond (WV). Highlights: Raymond 2-3. Records: Cleveland 2-14, 0-10, District 5-AAA; Walker Valley 23-7, 6-2.