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Bearden suffers rare early exit at Eastman
Tennessee High ends BHS tourney run as Lady ’Dawgs finally lose last week

KINGSPORT — A good start to the Eastman Invitational ended in misfortune for Bearden as the Lady Bulldogs end the week on a two-game losing skid.

The Lady Bulldogs were eliminated by Tennessee High, 1-0 Saturday, April 16. Bearden carried a 16-3 overall record, unbeaten in District 4-AAA, into this week’s action.

Sally Gale was the losing pitcher as her record drops to 13-1. Gale struck out 13 in the game and only allowed one runner in scoring position, consequently the only run of the game in the sixth inning.

A bunt single allowed the THS baserunner to get on first before she was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. A pass ball on a strike allowed the runner to advance to third with one out.

Following a strikeout, the next hitter’s grounder to third was mishandled, allowing the run to score — ironically to what happened a year ago in the championship game of this same tournament where BHS was runner-up.

“We really hurt ourselves, we had a chance to score just about every inning but we just didn't do it,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “I was really disappointed and hurt for Sally because she couldn't have pitched any better, but that's life. I just wish we could run the bases a little bit better.”

The Lady Bulldogs started the tournament with wins over Twin Springs 12-2 and Oak Ridge 2-1 Friday, April 15, and continued in the early game Saturday, April 16, with similar success against David Crockett with a 10-0 win.

However, the Lady Bulldogs' streak came to a halt as Unicoi County handed BHS its first loss of the tourney, 8-2.

In the six years Bearden has participated in the Eastman Invitational, the Lady Bulldogs have never finished lower than third place. With two third-place finishes, two second-place showings and winning the championship in 2003, the Lady Bulldogs will be looking to avenge this week's losses with a strong upcoming week against district rivals FHS Tuesday, April 19, (after press deadline) and South Doyle Thursday, April 21.


The Bulldogs cruised through the first game of the doubleheader with a 3-0 win but received its first loss of the season in a nine-inning dual, 4-3, Thursday, April 14, at BHS.

Gale earned the win in the early game by throwing a three-hit shutout. Rachel Rowan earned the loss in the second game.

Alicia Boris and Paige Harmony hit doubles and Ebony Reddic tripled, but it wasn't enough as the Lady Bulldogs couldn't get a late inning rally together.

“We just refused to win,” Blevins said. “We did everything we could to put runners in scoring position and then we would fold.”


The Lady Bulldogs swept the doubleheader against McMinn County Monday, April 11, at BHS.

In the first game, Gale pitched a one-hitter as the Lady Bulldogs went on to win 3-0. Gale pitched a no-hitter in the second game and Boris hit a double as the Lady Bulldogs took game two, 4-0.


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