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The Lady Horns send Hampton Bulldogs to the doghouse

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The JCHS softball team was back in action Wednesday afternoon against Hampton High School.
The Lady Longhorns were still feeling pretty good after Monday’s big win against Unicoi.
Competition continues to be a little tense when playing Hampton because the Carter County school will always be a rival to Johnson County. Tuesday’s night matchup was no different, so Coach Greg Reece made sure his varsity girls were ready to bring home another win for the team.
The Lady Longhorns started strong in the first inning with six runs straight out of the dugout. They kept the momentum throughout the game with a run in the second, third and fifth.
Johnson County cleaned house once again in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. Faith Walsh got five RBIs for the night and two runs. Hannah Fritts had two RBIs as well as Sydni Potter and Amy Gunter.
Fritts made it around the bases three times and Potter one. Hailey Cox, Autumn Shepherd, added three runs each, while Mimi Zaldavar had one.
Hannah Fritts started out at the mound, but she yielded to Lauryn Bishop in the bottom of the first inning after feeling some tightness in her shoulder. Bishop was strong at the mound with 64 pitches, 49 strikes, and only 15 balls with one walk.
The talented pitcher helped shut down the Lady Bulldogs at the plate, got a solid 12-2 win, and helped prepare the team for a big conference game on Monday, April 11, against South Greene in Greene County.
Reece was happy with another win, especially against Hampton, but he did feel his team “played a little flat.”
“We are missing a few contributors in certain spots, but we are working in people, and these younger players are contributing and getting experience as well,” Reece said. The Longhorn Nation softball coach added, “Hampton is a much-improved program; Coach Weddle is doing great.
Hampton hit the ball well tonight but struggled to get the players across the plate.”
The Lady Horns were scheduled to play in the Nuclear Fuel Services Tournament in Unicoi County, but it was canceled as many other spring sports were due to weather.