By Chris Yow
COLUMBIA — Ashleia Coble singled home Deanna Trousdale in the sixth inning to put her Zion Christian Eagles ahead, then shut down visiting Clarksville Academy from the circle in the seventh to help her team advance in the Division II-A Middle Region tournament with a 6-5 win Tuesday.
Three extra-base hits in the second inning helped Zion Christian jump on top of the Lady Cougars, as they posted four runs in the inning. Ella Davidson tripled to lead off the inning before Elizabeth Wood and Isabella Cecil each doubled and Coble singled home a run as well.
Coach Russ Adcox said he was very pleased to see such gritty at-bats from the bottom of his lineup.
“Those girls have really improved, and I’ve told them all year that if they keep putting the ball in play that good things will happen,” he said. “We have to put pressure on teams to make the plays in the field.”
Clearly, the pressure was on both teams in the game, as Zion Christian committed three errors — all throwing errors that allowed runners to advance.
“We have to be smarter about where we throw the ball when we get it into the infield,” Adcox said. “We either didn’t have a cutoff or didn’t hit them when we did.”
The 14-year-old freshman Coble was determined to lead her team to a win, and backed that up with a three hit performance from the leadoff spot that included a pair of RBIs. She was forced to be a leader with fellow pitcher Kyndall Daranovich and first baseman Claire Boyd both battling illnesses. Boyd participated in the contest, but was not 100 percent according to Adcox.
“We battled tonight and came out on top of a one-run game. There have been a lot times this season when we have been on the losing end of these, and I’m proud of the way our girls handled the adversity,” Adcox said.
Every Lady Eagle who went to the plate garnered a base hit.
Zion will play Thursday at Friendship Christian, a 15-0 winner Tuesday over Ezell-Harding, as tourney play continues.