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Defense, Martin key in Lady Ad tourney win


BLOUNT COUNTY — Abby Rose Martin agreed that her fifth-inning single up the middle was the biggest hit of her varsity career with the Farragut High School softball team.

“Yeah, I’d have to say it is, it’s very exciting to get the winning hit, especially when the run scores,” the sophomore catcher said after her leadoff single turned out to be the game-winning run. Farragut beat William Blount 1-0 in the third round of the District 4-AAA tourney Monday, May 8, at WBHS.

Rose turned her single into a three-bagger by making it to third base after the Lady Gov center fielder let the ball go through her legs. Pinch-runner Keri Meade scored when Jessie Howard drove her home with a bunt single.

Losing WBHS pitcher Rachel Wall hesitated a split second looking back Meade at third, giving the speedy Howard just enough time to beat Wall’s throw to first.

Meade then broke home upon Wall’s release to first, sliding barely ahead of the relay throw.

“This time of year that’s what you’ve got to do,” FHS head coach David Moore said. “Scratch out a run here and there and make big plays.”

Advancing to play unbeaten No. 4 seed Maryville Tuesday evening in the winners’ bracket (after press deadline), the No. 2 seeded Lady Ads (23-10-1 entering the game) were hoping to assure themselves a spot in next week’s Region 2-AAA tourney with a win.

The tourney at WBHS concluded Wednesday (after press deadline), with top-seeded Heritage and the No. 3-seeded Lady Govs looking to battle out of the loser’s bracket.

FHS 1 WILLIAM BLOUNT 0

Senior staff ace pitcher Margaret Morris got help from her Lady Admiral defense at clutch moments, but also did a lot to shut down the Lady Govs.

Perfect through three innings, Morris allowed just two hits with no walks and six strikeouts while retiring the final eight hitters she faced.

“Margaret made big pitches when she had to,” Moore said. “Hopefully that’s a big key. Good teams find ways to win, so we’re proving to be a pretty good team right now.”

Clutch defensive plays for Farragut came in the top-half of the fourth and fifth innings.

Giving up a sharply stroked one-out double down the third base line in the fourth, Morris was touched up with a two-out rocket shot in the same general area.

But Howard gobbled up the hot smash at third base and threw to first for the final out. “Jessie made a great play, that was a reaction play,” Moore said. “She made a big play when we had to have it.”

An infield hit plus an infield error had WBHS in business in the fifth with runners on the corners and only one out. But Haley Lewis charged a sharply-hit fly to center field and made a near perfect strike to the plate.

The runner didn’t advance, and Morris worked out of the jam with a strikeout.

“Haley just played it right, came in strong and made a strong throw to the plate,” Moore said. “Lauren [Briody] made a couple of good scoops at first on plays that didn’t seem as big. But if they get runners on, it is big.”

Howard and Morris each had first inning singles but were stranded on base. Left fielder Cayla Smith had an infield hit in the in the bottom of the fourth.

LATE REGULAR SEASON

After a 5-3 loss at Gibbs Monday, May 1, the Lady Ads bounced back May 2 on Senior Night at Bellamy Field to blank Webb 8-0.

“I guess the big thing about beating Webb that night was that all five seniors had hits, so they all went out on high notes in a regular season home game,” Moore said of Morris, Howard, Lewis, Briody and Smith. “Marge pitched a shutout, and it was a good night for the seniors.”

 

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