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JCHS Softball Team plays well at Unicoi; defeats HV

By Matt Hill

The JCHS Lady Longhorns had a couple things go against them against Unicoi County last Wednesday. but it may be the start of a turnaround in their fortunes.
JCHS ended up losing 3-1 to the Lady Blue Devils, but JCHS seems to be clicking again.
All three runs came home on errors or pass balls at crucial times, but other than those mistakes JCHS played about perfect in the field.
“Grady Lingerfelt told me take away those mistakes and we pretty much took care of things,” JCHS head coach Dana Smith said.
This time, the Lady Longhorns put the bat on the ball against All-State pitcher Kara Woods as Woods had only five strikeouts on the day.
The Unicoi field had to make the plays, allowing only one error on a ball hit by Rebecca Royston to begin the game.
“This team is finally getting its concistency and I believe it’s because we’ve played so many ball games,” Smith said. “This is how we want to play going into the district.”
Even though the Lady Longhorns put the bat on the ball, the only hit of the game came with two out in the seventh inning when Eden Smith knocked one over the centerfield fence, crushing a man’s windshield.
The only problem was there was no one on.
“I was shocked,” Eden said. “I was trying to make something happen and it happen. I just wish there had been runners on so they could have gotten home. I surprised myself.”
Smith says this team is getting better every day.
“We have improved a lot,” Eden said. “We were tired of losing and we wanted to win so we put our minds to it and worked harder for it.”
Of course, Sam Mahala has been the rock of the team all year and she provided another solid performance on Wednesday, striking out six and giving up six hits.
“Sam has been throwing unbelievable since Tiny Day,” Smith said.
With the JCHS Pink Game coming up next Tuesday, the roles were reversed for JCHS on Wednesday as they participated in somebody else’s cancer awareness game.
Unicoi senior second baseman Emilee Lovette wanted to do something special for her senior night and honor her dad and others who had fought cancer.
She dedicated her senior night to that cause as she is the only senior on Unicoi’s team.
“When we were first asked we said we would do it,” Smith said. “Miranda Payne’s father has battled cancer and Lisa Mullins’ mother passed away with cancer. That was a great thing for me to be honored to be included in this.”
Thursday’s Game
Happy Valley 0
The Lady Longhorns followed up Wednesday’s strong performance with a solid one against the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Longhorns played long ball as Eden Smith hit her second varsity home run in two days and third overall.
Also hitting a blast was Miranda Payne, who was just inserted into the starting lineup two weeks ago.
Ashley Arnold and Smith led the efforts with 2-for-3 and 2-for-4 games respectively.
“We saw the ball a little bit better than we did down there,” Smith said. “We hit very well. Miranda Payne hits her first home run and Eden hits another home run in that game. We played good defense and Sam pitched unbelievable.”
Mahala had 15 strikeouts on the afternoon.
Smith likes the team of last week better than the one that’s played most of the season.

For complete details please pick up your copy of this weeks, The Tomahawk, available at local newsstands today!