By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The rubber match game between Johnson County and Sullivan Central had more fireworks than a fourth of July outing on a hot summer night; the Lady Longhorns provided the biggest blasts.
The Horns battled back from an early deficit to knock off the Lady Cougars 15-5 in the play-in game of the District 1-AA tournament on Thursday at Bob Kirksey Field.
Central scored a pair of runs with two outs in the first inning on a ball that got misplayed in the outfield.
The Cougars would return in the favor in the bottom half.
Natalie Winters reached to start the game then scored on a two-run homer off the bat of Hannah Brooks to tie the game.
Head coach Angela Blevins felt like being able to battle back gave her team the confidence needed to come out with a win.
“We had trouble early in the year when we would get down like this,” said Blevins. “But we played through the mistake and tied the game which was huge. We hit the ball well especially Emmy Miller after they walked Hannah three times in a row. I was very pleased with how we played today. Getting into the double elimination round was huge for this young team.”
The Cougars scored another pair of runs in the second inning that upped their advantage at 4-2. This time the Horns would storm back and go up big.
They managed to record five runs in the second inning that put them in front 7-4. Courtney Brooks, Emmy Miller, Cassidy Lakatos and Lindsey Wills all singled and scored in addition to Hannah Brooks who was intentionally walked.
The Horns hammered out a solo run in the fourth then broke the game open with a big blast in the fifth.
Emmy Miller started the avalanche by roping a three-run homer over the left field fence that doubled their lead at 10-5. Base hits by Wills, Lakatos, Bella Miller and Abby Cornett would up their run total to a baker’s dozen.
Courtney Brooks double in the Horns’ final run and pitched a complete game to earn the win.
Emmy Miller had a mammoth game for the Lady Horns going 3-for-4 with five RBI’s including her home run. Cornett added three base hits and scored twice. Lakatos, Wills and Courtney Brooks provided two hits apiece. Hannah Brooks was intentionally walked three times after her first-inning homer and scored four times.
“The girls were determined not to let the season end on our home field,” added Blevins. “There was pressure on them because of it being an elimination game. I thought they played well the whole game.
The two teams had split games during the regular season.
Jasmine Sheffield had three hits to lead the Lady Cougars while Courtney Wills added a pair.
Johnson County 15,
Sullivan Central 5
Sullivan Cen. 220 100 0 – 5 9 2
JCHS 250 161 x – 15 0 1
WP—Snapp and Horne. C. Brooks and E. Miller
HR—JC (H. Brooks, E. Miller)