JC’s Hailey Cox knocks one out of the park in the Longhorns’ 5-4 loss to Sullivan South. Photo by Joey Icenhour
By Tim Chambers
The Lady Longhorns capped off a busy week of softball by going 1-3 in the prestigious Eastman Invitational played at Kingsport over the weekend. They knocked off Claiborne County while losing to state powerhouses Daniel Boone and Anderson County, who defeated Daniel Boone. Autumn Shepherd had a pair of hits in the loss to Anderson. The Lady Longhorns showed a lot of fight against a Daniel Boone squad that played in the Little League World Series just a few years ago.
Kyleigh Bacon pitched and batted Boone to victory tossing six solid innings and collecting two hits while driving in a run. Johnson County only trailed 2-1 in the fourth against the favored Lady Trailblazers after Emmy Miller and Faith Walsh singled to make it close. Miller also had a stolen base. Boone used some clutch hitting in the late innings to fend off Johnson County’s bid for an upset. Boone finished second in the strong tournament field, losing to Dobyns Bennett in the championship game.
Johnson County 11
Sullivan Central 8
It all started on Tuesday as Johnson County was able to withstand several comeback bids by Sullivan Central to win an 11-8 contest. Emmy Miller used her speed to get Johnson County’s first run. She was hit by a pitch, stole second, and came home on a single by Faith Walsh for a 1-0 lead. The Horns added five runs in the second frame to up their advantage at 6-0. Cassidy Lakatos singled, and Sydni Potter blasted her first career home run well over the field fence for a 3-0 advantage. They would score three more times as Maddi Edington, Miller, and Autumn Lewis would cross the dish en route to the 6-0 cushion.
Central made it interesting by scoring four in the fourth to close the deficit, but Johnson County’s bats stayed hot. Hannah Fritts hit a solo home run in the seventh; Miller had base hits and scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Freshman Maddie Jones started on the mound for Johnson County but ran into trouble in the fourth. Fritts came on in relief to retire the side with the bases loaded and pitched the remainder of the game. Miller had a big day collecting three hits while scoring three times. Walsh had two hits, as did Fritts, Lakatos, and Potter. Jenna Horner went 1-3.
Sullivan South 5
Johnson County 4
The Lady Longhorns appeared headed for another win, but South scored two runs in the sixth inning to erase a slight deficit on Thursday in Kingsport. The Lady Horns got a good performance at the plate from Hailey Cox, who drove in two runs and hit a home run. Sydni Potter added a pair of hits, and Jenna Horner was good for two RBI’s.Emma Ellis had the big hit for South and ended the game with two. Madison Chapman pitched a complete game to earn the win.
Johnson County is currently 2-3 in the Three Rivers Conference trailing Happy Valley by one game. They can make up ground this week as they play Elizabethton at home on Tuesday, at Happy Valley on Thursday, and a non-conference game with Cloudland on Friday.