By Tim Chambers

The middle school Longhorns softball team split a pair of games this week against a pair of quality opponents. They knocked off T.A. Dugger 12-8 before falling to Cloudland 12-2.

JCMS 12
T. A. Dugger 8
The Lady Longhorns banged out a dozen hits in their huge win over the Lady Cyclones.
Deanna Younce pitched six strong innings to earn the win.
Jayla Gregg and Sydni Potter had three hits apiece to lead the way. Cassidy Lakatos was 3-4 with two runs scored. Maddie Edington had a pair of hits and scored twice. Haley Cox, Halie Reece, Sarah Rider and Faith Walsh added one hit apiece.
Gregg turned a huge double play in the seventh from her catcher’s position that prevented the Cyclones from having a potential big inning.
“We had three starters out with injuries but the younger players stepped up,” said Reece. “Jayla Gregg did a great job behind the plate, and she had made a real heads up play in the last inning. Lakatos played well at third and that helped set the tone.  Getting Deanna Younce back from her knee injury was a plus, and the new look defensively paid off.”

Cloudland 12
Johnson Co. 5
The Highlanders scored eight runs over the final two innings in their come-from-behind win over the Longhorns. Johnson County’s lack of defense was evident throughout the game.
They committed a dozen errors which led to more than half of their runs being unearned.
Halie Reece went 4-for-5 to lead the Longhorns at the plate. Emma Miller was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored. Maddie Edington added a pair of hits. Cassidy Lakatos, Jayla Gregg and Sydni Potter went 1-for-3 apiece.
“This game turned in the fourth and fifth innings,” said JCMS’ head coach Greg Reece. “We had taken the lead, had the momentum, and then we get the interference call, and Emmy Miller gets injured. She is one of those players that is as tough as a pine knot, and a true leader.   You could feel the air sucked right out of the dugout and we never really recovered. No excuses, we have to be stronger mentally, and I made some moves defensively that did not work out, and the errors in the sixth and seventh finished us off.”
Reece went on to add.
“Right now the loss to Cloudland is not devastating. They had already dropped a game to HVMS but next week is really important for us. We have HVMS at home on Tuesday and go to Unaka on Friday. Our goal is to win the top seed for the conference tournament, so we really need to win out.”