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BHS softball holds off LC


Bearden High School Softball head coach Leonard Sams acknowledges that he has a young squad, but he's tired of watching his team get off to fast starts and have to hang on for dramatic victories.

“A win is a win and every win in this district is big. They don't call our district one of the best districts in the state for nothing,” Sams said after watching his squad earn a 5-4 District 4-AAA win over Lenoir City Tuesday, March 29, at Kim Hazelwood Field.

Shortstop Danielle Willis led off the game with a hit and advanced to second when the Lady Panthers were slow returning the ball to the infield. She took third when Kiarra Freeman legged out a bunt. Freeman would take advantage of the sleepwalking Panthers and turn her hit into a double.

Both runners would score, two outs later, on a single by catcher Amanda Dunaway.


Those two early runs would prove to be crucial, but Bearden would cruise early. The Lady Bulldogs played solid defense and sophomore pitcher Jessie Goodson retired eight of the first nine hitters she faced.

Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs' offense would add two more runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Again, it was Willis and Freeman who got things started. Both singled. Willis scored on a single by Emma Kugler. Freeman came home on a single by first baseman Sara Burklin, making it 4-0.

Bearden scored its final run in the bottom of the fourth when Freeman, Lady Bulldogs junior center fielder, singled home Becky Braswell, who singled.

“Both Danielle Willis and Kiarra Freeman had a big day at the plate,” Sams said.

Willis said, “We worked a lot on offense [Monday]. Once I get into the batter's box, I just have to relax, stay focused and do whatever coach asks.”

Jessie Goodson sparkled in the pitching circle. Over the first four innings, Bearden's sophomore ace surrendered just two hits and a walk. “I learned a lot from Kaylee [Heemsoth] last year, but now it's my turn,” said Goodson, who recorded six strikeouts.

 

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