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Lady Longhorns win softball tournament in Dayton

By Matt Hill

The week started off with a shocking defeat and ended in jubilation for the JCHS Softball Team.
The Lady Longhorns, thought by some to be a spoiler in the Three Rivers Conference Softball race this season, fell to Sullivan North 3-1 last Tuesday.
After crushing Hampton Thursday, the Lady Longhorns lost two games in preliminary play in the Meigs County Softball Classic in Dayton, TN only to bounce back and win the tournament.
In a week of ups and downs, the Lady Longhorns were all smiles after winning the event.
The Sullivan North loss was a wake up call, but it had its positive moments, including a solo home run by Heather Berardi.
With star pitcher Sam Mahala out sick, Danielle Hensley stepped in and pitched very strongly.
What hurt the Lady Longhorns was lack of hitting and errors in the field.
North played a flawless game in the field and pulled off the huge upset.
“I was concerned after we played Sullivan North,” JCHS head coach Dana Smith said. “We did not adjust to the pitching and that concerned me, but they took all their frustration out on Hampton.
The Tournament championship pool play started out in pool play against Midway and lost.
The second game was against Whitwell, a win for the Longhorns.
The Lady Longhorns lost to Meigs County on Saturday morning.
“Once again we didn’t adjust to the pitcher,” Smith said. “Meigs County did have a good team.”
In tournament play, the Lady Longhorns won their first two games to reach the championship.”
“We went to international tiebreaker and we won that game,” Smith said.
The championship game was against a very talented Chattanooga Arts and Sciences School.
It was definitely going to be a challenge.
“I walk in and I’m thinking, this team’s tough,” Smith said. “I can honestly tell you everything they had worked so hard on came together. The spark that got us going was Eden Smith taking off on a dead run after a ball that was over her head in center field and she caught that ball. How she caught was amazing. The coach on third base couldn’t believe it.”
After being sick earlier in the week, Mahala was just fine for this contest.
“Sam was so calm,” Smith said. “She pitched every game and her pitch county was unbelievable. She gave up only one hit.
Berardi, the Lady Longhorns senior standout, also came up with a huge play.
“Heather dove for a ball and made an incredible catch,” Smith said. “For everyone to do what they were supposed to in that game was amazing.”
For Complete details please pick up your copy of this weeks, The Tomahawk available at local newsstands today!