By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
BLUFF CITY—Johnson County was close to pulling off a huge upset before a late rally by Sullivan East spoiled their bid.
The Patriots scored an unearned run in the eighth inning to earn a dramatic 4-3 victory. It came after pitcher Courtney Brooks had retired the first two batters in the inning. Cayden Bawgus drew a walk then Autumn Gobble followed with a soft liner to right that was misplayed allowed Bawgus to score the game-winning run from first.
“I felt like we made some good pitches to the batter before, but they tightened the zone up considerable late in the game,” said Johnson County’s head coach Angela Blevins. “You can’t throw everything down the middle against a good hitting team like East. I was proud of our kids for the way they battled back after falling behind because they could have just laid down and given up but they didn’t. We clawed back in the game and played some pretty good ball from the third inning till the end. We haven’t been outside much lately because of the weather, but our kids fought past that. We’re not happy with the loss, but I thought our girls stepped up and played well.”
East scored solo runs in the first two innings to jump on top 2-0.
Jana White stroked an RBI double in the first inning while Samantha Smith belted a solo home run in the second.
Johnson County battled back to tie the game in the fourth inning by using the long ball. Lindsey Wills led off with a single then scored on a towering home run off the bat of Hannah Brooks.
It appeared as if they were ready to pull off the upset when they scored in the seventh inning to go up 3-2.
Abby Cornett led off with a single and later scored on freshman Emmy Miller’s base hit that put the wheels in motion.
East was able to stall their bid by etching out a run via way of the small ball game. White walked then moved to third on Chelsie Sams’ infield single. Kaylee Wolfe’s sacrifice fly allowed White to come home after the throw from left field was off line that made it 3-3.
The Longhorns had their chance in the eighth inning but couldn’t take advantage of Bella Miller’s leadoff single. Two sac bunts moved her to third, but Wolfe was able to snare a line drive up the middle by Courtney Brooks for the third out.
Courtney Brooks pitched well for the Longhorns
while going the distance.
Wolfe was credited with the win after pitching a complete game.
Hannah Brooks went 2-for-3 to lead the Longhorns. Cornett and Miller were 2-for-4 apiece. Courtney Brooks, Wills, Bella Miller and Natalie Winters added one hit apiece.
White had a pair of base hits to lead the Patriots.
Johnson County 000 200 10 — 3 10 1
Sullivan East 110 000 11 — 4 9 2
JC: C. Brooks and E. Miller. SE: Wolfe and Sams.
WP—Wolfe, LP: C. Brooks
HR—JC (H. Brooks) SE Smith