JC’s Natalie Winters (21) hammers a double versus HV. The sophomore had a great tournament before being eliminated 4-3 by the Warriors. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Tomahawk Sports Editor
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.com

ELIZABETHTON—Trying to duplicate District 1-AA’s first game between Elizabethton and Unicoi County seemed impossible, but Johnson County and Happy Valley did so in dramatic fashion. The Warriors rallied from a 3-2 deficit with two outs in the seventh inning to tie the game then win it 4-3 in the eighth frame.
The start time was delayed due to Unicoi’s 6-5 win over the Lady Cyclones in the first contest. The last game had the same type of excitement and more.
Happy Valley’s Katie Havner grounded a base hit between second and first to tie the game at 3-3-. Her clutch base hit scored freshman Olivia Absher who had reached on a one-out single.
“I was so glad when they called time after I had one strike,” said Havner. “It gave me a chance to get loose and let my worries go. I had hit really well in batting practice, but I couldn’t get anything to fall up to that point, but this definitely is the biggest hit in my
career.”
That base hit wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back. That one came in the following frame.
Callie Davis ripped a walk-off single with the bases loaded scoring Makala Hughes who had doubled to start the inning.
“I didn’t want this to be my last game,” said Davis, a senior. “I went up there with a lot of confidence ready to swing. It was very emotional in the dugout in the seventh inning when we tied it up, and we weren’t about to let it slip away after that.”
The Warriors jumped on top 1-0 in the first on an RBI base hit by Kelly scoring Kaitlyn Roberts who had reached on a two-base error.
Davis factored in the game’s second run by stretching her base hit into a double with an all-out hustle play. She later scored on Absher’s base hit to give Happy Valley a 2-0 advantage.
Freshman pitcher Abby Holt was cruising along by not allowing a run until the fifth inning. That’s when the Longhorns rallied to tie the game.
Lindsey Wills delivered a two-run single scoring Hannah Brooks and Emmy Miller who had walked. They would add their final run in the following frame to go up 3-2.
Maddi Edington moved to third on a double play by Natalie Winters. Miller then hit a ball to left field that fell, but the runner was called out at third on a force play on what appeared to be a break from the Warriors.
Holt and her teammates took advantage of the call and got out of the jam with no further damage.
Johnson County’s inability to deliver clutch base hits, in the end, would prove to be their downfall. The Longhorns left two runners on in the seventh and eighth innings while Happy Valley answered with a single score in each of those frames.
“We had our chances and just didn’t deliver,” said Longhorns super sophomore Hannah Brooks who was intentionally walked five times. “We played as hard as we could and should have won. This one really hurts.”
Willis had a game-high three hits to lead the Longhorns. Hannah Brooks was intentionally walked five times. Winters doubled and reached base three times. Emmy Miller
recorded two hits. Cassidy Lakatos had the other one.
Brooks went the distance on the mound for the Horns. Holt earned the win by
striking out 10 in her complete-game performance for the Warriors.
Absher and Kelly had two hits apiece to pace the Warriors. The Warriors outhit Johnson County 10-7.
“We had runners on in the last two innings but couldn’t score,” said Johnson County’s head coach Angela Blevins. “We made a few mistakes in the game, but we had a very
young team on the field. Our kids played well for having three freshman and five sophomores in the starting lineup. I can see a lot of improvement in them over the last several weeks.”

District 1-AA Tournament
Happy Valley 4,
Johnson County 3

JCHS 000 021 00 – 3 7 2
Happy V. 101 000 11 – 4 10 1
H. Brooks and Miller. Holt and Kelly.
WP—Holt, LP—Brooks