By Tim Chambers
BLOOMINGDALE—The log jam of bottom tier teams got some separation on Thursday after Johnson County swept Sullivan North on the road. The Lady Longhorns captured the first game of a doubleheader 3-1, then added a 7-1 victory in the nightcap.
The two victories allowed Johnson County to up its conference slate at 4-5, three wins better than the Golden Raiders and Happy Valley.
Head coach Angela Blevins touched on her team’s play during the twin bill.
“We didn’t hit the ball well in the first game until that last inning,” said Blevins. “Once we got going it carried over into the second game. I thought Hannah (Brooks) struggled early on the mound but kept getting better as the game progressed. Courtney (Brooks) kept their hitters off-balanced in the second game and pitched very well. North has improved their program quite a bit over the past couple of years. This was two good wins for us.”
The wins didn’t come easy for the Horns against the Raiders who are currently nestled in last place. It took a two-run fifth inning in the first contest to salvage the victory.
Lindsey Willis delivered a two-run single, scoring Brittney Brooks and Maddie South who had hit safely.
Wills also scored the game’s first run after reaching base on an error. Marley Eggers drove her home with a solid single for a 1-0 advantage.
Rachel Fleenor scored North’s only run in the bottom half.
Wills, Bella Miller, Eggers, Courtney Brooks and Brittney Brooks had the only hits in the game for Johnson County.
Hannah Brooks tossed a four-hitter on the mound to earn the win in the five-inning affair.
Johnson County 7
Sullivan North 1
The Lady Longhorns were finally able to solve the Golden Raiders by scoring a six-pack of runs over the final two innings.
They led 1-0 before picking up a couple of runs in the fourth inning to go up 3-1. Brittney Brooks drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Bella Miller drove Courtney Brooks who had hit safely with a solid single.
The Longhorns put the game away with four unearned runs in the final inning after North committed two errors to open the frame.
Eden Fenner had a RBI single and Natalie Winters drove in another with a double.
Fenner led the way going 2-for-2. Winters and Eggers were 2-for-3 each and Bella Miller added a 2-for-4 performance. Brittney Brooks was 1-for-1.
Courtney Brooks twirled a two-hitter on the mound to earn the win. She fanned six batters in five innings and at one point retired eight straight.
Sullivan South 12
Johnson County 0
The Longhorns fell hard to South on Wednesday in a makeup game that was rained out on Tuesday.
Marley Eggers went 2-for-2 for the Longhorns. Lindsey Wills and Bella Miller had the only other hits.
Unicoi County 3
Johnson County 0
Courtney Brooks pitched a gem against the Blue Devils but couldn’t get the offensive support needed to pick up the win. The junior ace retired 13 of the first 15 batters she faced over a five-inning span.
Unicoi scored solo runs in the sixth and seventh innings to put the game away.
Bella Miller broke up Unicoi’s Haley Padgett no-hit bid in the seventh with a solid single, the only hit in the game for Johnson County.