Loose attitude, Escobar sends Lady Spartans to semis

By Chris Yow

MURFREESBORO — Summit coach Jenny Stevenson doesn’t like watching her team warm up. Between the silly dances and nonchalant attitude, the business-like coach would rather continue to prepare her gameplan.

What she doesn’t do — is stop them.

“We had a party on the bus on the way over here,” she said. “I woke up nervous, but apparently they did not. They’re loose; they like to have fun.”

It’s not too tough to be loose and confident when University of North Alabama signee Elena Escobar is in the circle. She continued her dominance from the first game of the day, going the distance in a two-hit shutout Wednesday as the Spartan women defeated Dyer County 4-0. Escobar struck out 15 without issuing a walk.

“To get the ball, go (into the circle) and have that look on her face, I’m just super proud of her,” Stevenson said. “She’s so mature and composed. She was phenomenal.”

Stevenson will be the first to tell anyone that her team isn’t going to beat their opponents in a high-scoring affair, but when the Spartans’ bats are hot, they are dangerous. In the third inning, those bats became just that.

A walk to Emma Beach and an error that allowed Abby O’Reilly to reach set Summit up for a big inning. A Texas-leaguer fell into no-man’s land behind second base to help the first run across, and Hannah Sundberg opened the flood gates with a two-RBI double to give Summit a 3-0 lead.

The Spartans added another run in the fifth on an Ashlyn Easley sacrifice foul fly to score Morgan Woodside.

“With our pitching and our defense, we know if we can score a couple runs we can get the win,” Stevenson said. “Having four today? I was like, ‘Finally’.

“They did a good job executing at the plate.”

Summit moves on to the winner bracket finals to face Farragut at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The Lady Admirals advanced with tournament wins over Dickson County (3-1) and Coffee County (2-0).

Photos by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports

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