By Tim Chambers
Like an airplane off course, the middle school softball Longhorns hit a tailspin last week, dropping a pair of games to Happy Valley and Unaka. The Warriors scored in nearly every inning including three in the fourth to take a 7-3 victory over the Horns.
Unaka banged out 23 hits in a 21-8 victory on Friday.
Happy Valley 7
Johnson County 3
The Warriors took advantage of some pitching struggles by Johnson County to earn a hard fought victory on Tuesday.
Eleven walks issued by three pitchers and three errors proved to be too much for the Horns to overcome in this one.
The Warriors scored a solo run each in the first three innings that led to a 3-3 tie after three. But a three run fourth inning proved to be the difference in the game.
Maddie Edington led the Longhorns, going 2-3 with a triple, RBI and a run scored. Emma Miller was 2-3 with two runs scored. Sydni Potter and Haley Cox added one hit each.
Laura Rice and Maddie Lingerfelt led the Warriors, going 2-4 each. Olivia Absher and Torrie Roberts chipped in, going 1-2 apiece.
Abigail Holt went the distance to earn the win on the mound for HV. Deanna Younce, one of three Longhorn pitchers, took the loss.
“We committed too many errors and that’s what it came down to,” said JCMS head coach Greg Reece. “They didn’t hit the ball hard, but they hit it in spots where we weren’t. We did not practice over the weekend, but we should have found a place to conduct a ready practice on Monday. We weren’t ready to play and that’s my fault as a coach.”
The Rangers scored early and often in their big win over the Longhorns. They scored eight times in the third inning to double the score at 12-6. They added nine runs over the final three innings to blow the game wide open.
Emmy Miller led the Longhorns, going 3-3 with two RBI’s. Jayla Gregg drove in three runs and was 2-3.
Alana Parsons dazzled the crowd with a 5-6 performance to lead the Lady Rangers. Sadie Shoun provided four hits including a home run. Noelle Collins added three hits and drove in three runs. Hannah Scott, Kendall Bare, Kailey Wilson, Abbie Fuel and Kiki Forney all had two hits each.
Scott pitched all six innings to earn the win for Unaka.
“We did a better job throwing strikes, but Unaka was really hitting tonight,” said Lady Longhorns’ head coach Greg Reece. “We had people playing out of position due to injuries and such so we were unsettled defensively. That’s no excuse because when the wheels fell off, it got ugly in a hurry. We didn’t have an answer.”
Unaka now leads the league while Johnson County slides down to third.