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BHS softball 4-AAA perfection
Bearden matches ’98 Lady Ads with 17-0 district softball run, but Powell ends BHS season as Blevins considers retirement


Sally Gale, Bearden's softball warrior princess and District 4-AAA most valuable player, was tough enough to shake off a busted nose, sprained wrist and banged up knee during her team's late season run and carry the Lady Bulldogs to an unblemished 17-0 district season.

Despite the pain, "adrenaline is rushing, so I kept going, I hate to be taken out of the game. I love the game so, nothing was going to take me out," the BHS staff ace pitcher and leadoff hitter said after leading her team to the district tourney title. That came Wednesday, May 11, with an 8-3 win vs. Maryville at BHS's Kim Hazelwood Field.

With just the second district tourney title in school history, Bearden matched Farragut's 1998 unblemished 17-0 march through the district. "To go through the league seventeen-and-0 is unbelievable," BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. "And, for the first time ever, we were hosting a region game."


And the catalyst? "Sally Gale, we get on her back and drive her and ride her as far as we can, and she's Zena out there for us ...," Blevins said about the senior. "Gale was fantastic, she sprained her wrist one game, got hit right on the knee cap on that shot, but she's a warrior, she really came through big-time for us.

"She's just had a phenomenal year, and she's going to have a phenomenal collegiate career as well."

But Gale's career ended Monday night — finishing with a 28-2 pitching record — as did the careers of Farragut nemesis and All-district third baseman Alicia Boris and All-district outfielder Jennifer Walker.

Powell surprised the Lady Bulldogs 1-0 at BHS May 16 in the Region 2-AAA semi-finals, as Bearden's 2005 season ends with a 32-6 record.

The loss had Blevins assessing his future. Saying his Lady Bulldog program might be snakebit in its yearly effort to earn the program's first-ever trip to the Class AAA state tournament, "... you know, this might be my last game because this is as far as probably I can get it, maybe somebody else can take 'em a step further. ... It's hard to swallow,” he said.

Blevins said he'll "take a month off and see what I'll do" before giving his final decision.

BEARDEN 1 FARRAGUT 0

For the second time this season, Boris beat FHS with a clutch hit: this time it came in the tourney winner's bracket game Tuesday, May 10, on a long drive over the right fieler’s head in the ninth inning to drive in the winning run.

"It definitely feels awesome, especially on an outside pitch like that," Boris said. "That was what she was throwing me, was outside this game, so I was really struggling until the last one. I knew I had it, though. I've always had the confidence to know I can do it."

BEARDEN 8 MARYVILLE 3

Two big innings propelled Bearden to the district crown vs. Maryville. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the third, an Ebony Reddic triple to deep right field was followed by singles from Meagan Fredenberg and a Gale bunt single, eventually plating three Lady Bulldog runs.

Tied 3-3 in the fourth, Walker's bunt single was followed by a Paige Harmony single, a Rachel Rowan walk, a Reddic infield hit plus an error that made it 5-3 BHS.

Insurance in the bottom of the sixth came thanks to a pair of infield errors and the key blow, All-district shortstop Amanda McCollum's two-RBI single. Gale's second bunt single of the game and Haley Downen's RBI groundout contributed.

 

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