It was another tough day on the road as the Lady Longhorns faced off against the University High Lady Bucs in Johnson City last week. Johnson County led off on a good start with Cindi Eddington eventually reaching second after taking base on a walk. Yet, with a strikeout and two catches in the outfield, the Lady Longhorns failed to make anything out of their initial at bat. The second inning didnt go any better, and it was ultimately the third before Michala Cretsinger became Johnson Countys first and only run of the game.
As rough as the team had it on the offense, the defense had an even worse day, holding the Lady Bucs through the first but then giving up run after run through the rest of the game. We didnt play good defense, said Head Coach Dana Smith. We had 12 errors. We were just inconsistent. We didnt hit the ball. If you had seen that game and then saw our game against Unaka you would have thought we have two different teams.
With the Lady Bucs getting just one runner through in the second, chances at a turnaround were still relatively high midway through the game, but the score was a downward spiral from the third inning on. A combination of solid hitting and multiple issues with Johnson Countys fielding allowed University High to bring in three consecutive batters after an initial first out in the third.
Pitcher Cindi Eddington did a good job regaining control in the fourth, making exception for a single error at third that proved costly, but the really devastating sweep of the evening came in the fifth when just about everything that could go wrong on the defense did. Walks, errors, and hits all added up to allow five more Lady Buc runs to go up on the board, sealing the game with the addition of another single run in the 6th.
Offensively Johnson County did get on base a few times, most notably a double from Kelsey Duperry in the fourth, but were always cut short by a catch in the field or a strikeout. Johnson County had five Ks total, only two of which were standing strikeouts. Naturally, Coach Smith wasnt very pleased with the days results, but comparing the game to huge wins over schools like Unaka and Sullivan South reflects the very up and down nature of the team this year.
I think its a mindset, Smith began. I tell them, just be who you are supposed to be. Its a mindset and weve talked a lot about come on, just do what you are supposed to do and do the little things right. I talk all the time about our inconsistency. We have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of problem.