Working overtime to make up some of the games postponed earlier in the season by bad weather, the Johnson County Lady Longhorns competed in two separate away games Friday, first taking on the Hampton Lady Bulldogs and then traveling to Stony Creek to play the Unaka Lady Rangers.
Taking on Hampton proved to be a surprising grudge match that had plenty of contact with the ball on both sides. Johnson County led off with a first hit by freshman Kelsey Duperry who advanced on a huge double by senior Ashley Arnold. Neither runner made it all the way home, both getting cut off on their way from third. Arnolds long drive was just the first of many on the evening, earning her two runs against Hampton and proving that she is not only one of the better second basemen in the area, but also very talented at bat. I was just on it today, Arnold said about the game. Its just about practice, a lot of practice. We definitely came ready to play. Were doing tremendously well. Its a great win.
The Lady Bulldogs were having a very good day offensively as well, although despite numerous hits neither team was able to actually reach home until the third inning. Johnson County was first, with Arnold gaining her first trip around the diamond, followed by Abby Reece who took base on a Lady Bulldog error only to be advanced off a strong first base shot by Jayme Jennings.
Reece eventually went on to put up Johnson Countys second run of the day, but Jennings was cut short on her way from third. At their turn at bat, Hampton was just as quick to put a runner on base, nailing two doubles and two singles to ultimately tie up the score 2-2.
The intensity climbed even higher in the fourth inning as once again, Arnold and Reece were able to bump up the scoreboard, this time joined by Jennings, who advanced off a hit by Linnea Yongue. Yet, even three more runs werent enough to offset the Bulldogs, who countered with three runs of their own, sliding past pitcher Brianna Snyder who eventually handed it over to Hope Nelson.
Even only pitching 3 and a half innings, Snyder was still able to bring in some good stats, putting up 50 strikes with only 12 balls resulting in five strikeouts total with no walks. Nelson was almost as successful, helping to hold the Bulldogs through the remainder of the game. In fact, despite several narrow escapes, including a third base drive off of errors in the fifth, Hampton was not able to put up any more runs for the remainder of the game, giving the Lady Longhorns the chance to put some distance from their opponent.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.