Unicoi bests Horns on both offense and defense, wins 13-1
By Jonathan PleasantWith only two conference games left in the season, the Lady Longhorns desperately needed a win against the visiting Unicoi Lady Blue Devils. Unfortunately, despite playing a very narrow 3-0 loss early in the season, Unicoi was on top of their game early last week, besting Johnson County both on offense and defense.
“We just didn’t play well,” said head Coach Dana Smith. “We had some problems early with some throws. We had some errors, and you can’t make errors on a team that takes their hits. We switched our pitchers in and out. Hope Nelson pitched the first round every batter, and then we did Brianna Snyder. We were trying to do that to change up the release point of the pitcher. They’re pushing a little too much and they just need to start relaxing and playing.”
Yet, Smith also admitted that it might not have so much been a bad performance from Johnson County’s pitching staff as it was a stupendous showing by Unicoi’s offense. According to Smith, “When they came here their coach told me that ‘hey I don’t know what happened, we just started hitting,’ and that happens. We just learn and go and get onto the next game and figure out how to make those corrections.”
The Lady Blue Devils had managed to take base three times in the first inning, running in two before a second strikeout and a good catch in right field shut them down. Had Johnson County been able to make some good contact they might have been able to offset this early advance, but would have still had a difficult time overcoming Unicoi’s huge sweep in the third.
Taking advantage of some Johnson County errors, the Lady Blue Devils soon had the bases loaded and, with a huge double into center field, began driving them in. By the time the Lady Longhorns regained control, Unicoi already had four more runs to their credit, but were just getting started. Coming into the fourth, the Blue Devils’ first batter landed a huge homer only to be followed by a second one from her teammate. Coming back in the fifth, the first batter landed yet another home run, this time with two runners on base, bringing a their score to 13.
Unfortunately, Johnson County was unable to generate an answer to these advances, making some early contract but mostly in the form of short pop-ups within the infield. A couple of back-to-back strikeouts only made the second inning that much worse for the Lady Longhorns, but the team was finally able to get on base in the third thanks to a Unicoi error.
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