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BHS season over after one tourney win
Softball Lady ’Dawgs run past Sevier, fall to MHS


BLOUNT COUNTY — Fighting back tears after her final game as a Bearden Lady Bulldog softball player, Paige Harmony said the moment following BHS’s 10-3 loss to Maryville in the second-round of the Class 4-AAA tournament was “bittersweet.”

“I’m excited to move on to college [Vanderbilt] and stuff ... I’ve had a really good time,” the senior standout catcher said after the loss Thursday, May 4, at William Blount High School, ending a disappointing 11-18 season for the young Lady Bulldogs.

Shortstop Amanda McCollum, the team’s only other senior, joined Harmony as four-year starters for Mark Blevins’ BHS team.

“I can’t say I’m happy with how we did, but we did alright. The girls made it worthwhile,” McCollum said.

Blevins praised his senior duo, who were key components of last season’s perfect 17-0 district run through regular season and tournament play.

“I thought Amanda McCollum had an outstanding defensive year,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “Probably had the best defensive year we’ve ever had at short, and we’ve had some really good shortstops.

“We’re going to miss her and we’re going to miss Paige, both of ’em four-year starters,” Blevins added. “Paige is right at a four-0 [grade point average] student. You can’t ask for two better people than that.”

Coming off an opening round 12-4 win versus Sevier County one day earlier, the fifth-seeded Lady Bulldogs — finishing with a 5-11 overall record in District 4-AAA — overcame a 3-0 deficit with clutch two-out hitting in a three-run top of the second-inning.

But the No. 4 seeded Lady Rebels struck back hard with clutch hitting that was aided by a pair of Bearden throwing errors.

“We looked good for one inning there,” Blevins said. “I was pleased with our performance. We hung with ’em. Maryville’s a good ballclub, a lot better than we are.”

Center fielder Ebony Reddic, who started all 29 BHS games, led Bearden in batting average in 2006 at .415. McCollum, who started 27 of 29 games, hit .333.

On the mound, staff ace Rachel Rowan, a junior, ended with a 9-14 record and 2.75 earned run average. She struck out 82 while allowing just 17 walks.

Offensively, Rowan led Bearden in doubles with six and RBIs with 18.

BHS 12 SEVIER COUNTY 4

McCollum and Reddic led the Bearden hit parade with three. One of McCollum’s was a triple.

Jenny Zurakowski added two hits, including a double, worth four RBIs. Amber Allen added a two-run homer, while Megan Fredenberg had an RBI double. Harmony connected for two hits. Winning pitcher Rowan struck out nine while allowing nine hits and two walks.

MHS 10 BEARDEN 3

While the Lady Bulldogs had five hits as a team, they used an infield throwing error to begin their second-inning rally.

Highlighting the surge was Zurakowski with an RBI single followed by singles from Alex Boris and McCollum.

Reddic earned an RBI with a bases-loaded walk.

 

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