By Chris Yow
MURFREESBORO — Riding the arm of Claire Woods, who tossed a two-hit complete game, Summertown advanced to the winner bracket finals of the Class A softball state tournament with a 9-0 win Wednesday over Eagleville.
Woods struck out 10 Eagleville batters, which can sometimes lull a defense. Summertown coach Greg Burleson said it’s something his team talks about often, and his approach is to just expect the ball.
“We have to think that every pitch is going to be hit and what we are going to do if it is,” he said. “Sometimes you can get caught on your heels, and it’s happened to us a few times this year, but our girls are usually ready.”
Hannah Lindsey wasn’t on her heels in the seventh inning when a long fly ball found its way over the fence — the only problem for Eagleville is Lindsey held possession of the ball and made her way over top of the temporary outfield fence for an out.
“I always have to be ready. I know with Claire that lefties are late a lot of times, so I was ready,” she said. “(Meg Parrott) was yelling at me that there was a fence, but I knew I was close and was going to catch it.”
Lindsey was also 2-for-3 at the dish with an RBI as well, while Woods and Caiti Beth Gallaher each tallied a pair of hits in the game as well for Summertown.
Summertown plated a pair of runs in the first inning with a bases loaded single by Woods. Four more runs crossed in the second inning. Hailey Jones hit a ground ball with the bases loaded, and the Eagleville third baseman got the force at home and made the throw to first base. The ball bounced off Sarah Thompson’s glove, though, allowing Lindsey to score. Gallaher and Kaley Campbell each added RBIs in the inning.
Burleson said that despite the notion his team is the tournament favorite — coming off a runner-up finish in 2019 and a title the year before — his team is playing as if there is no bull’s eye on their backs.
“Our girls are hungry. They know what it’s like to leave here without a title,” he said. “Every day before we come here, we practice for an hour.
“We don’t think we’re the best team coming in here. We just want to be the best team when we leave.”
Photos by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports