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District 10-A softball All-District team announced

SM-Tn Sports

At the conclusion of the District 10-A softball tournament finals where Richland completed the season sweep with an 11-1 win over Mt. Pleasant, tournament host coach Misti Grooms announced the coaches votes for All-District.

Culleoka’s Alex Skinner and Richland’s Deanna Smith shared co-MVP honors, while Richland’s Brooklyn Reed was named the district’s Pitcher of the Year.

All-District Team: Allie Garner, Richland; Madelyn Woodard, Santa Fe; Baleigh Gray, Mt. Pleasant; Kylie Thomas, Culleoka; Gray Teegaarden, Richland; Sophie Rettinger, Mt. Pleasant; Tyler Reischman, Culleoka; Rachel Rich, Richland; Ashlynn Kelley, Santa Fe; Katie Thomason, Mt. Pleasant; Brooklyn Reed, Richland; Lexie McEwen, Santa Fe; Kylie Brewer, Mt. Pleasant.

Ramirez dials long distance twice as Lions win District 8-AAA title

By Maurice Patton

COLUMBIA – Against a defensive-minded Shelbyville team that forced a draw in the final District 8-AAA regular-season contest between the two, Columbia Central converted three free kicks Thursday night to earn the district tournament title with a 3-2 win over the visiting Golden Eagles.

Victor Ramirez put the Lions ahead twice from 30-plus yards out, placing a pair of longballs between the crossbar and Shelbyville goalkeeper Jared Ramos – the last with 12:07 remaining, before the Central defense held took control for the remainder of the contest.

“We had a couple of chances, but we usually create more chances,” Ramirez said after the victory. “They shut that down, so we relied on the set pieces to get it done.”

Columbia Central (16-2-1) defeated Shelbyville 3-0 in the season-opening match for both teams, before the Golden Eagles battled to a 2-2 tie on April 29 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium – the only league blemish for the regular-season champion Lions.

“The first time, they didn’t know our game plan,” Ramirez said. “They did a good job adjusting the second time. We knew we had to come out stronger, and we did. The score line shows it.”

Shelbyville (7-6-2), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, took a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the game as Daniel Juarez guided a shot from the left side of the box past Central goalie Dane Holley and into the right corner of the goal.

From there, the visitors’ defensive approach created issues for the Lions – negating their speed by clogging the attacking area with virtually the entire team.

“They were dropping nine in whenever we attacked,” Central coach Greg Szydlowski said. “With the style we play, they made it difficult for us to find lanes.

“They played us the way they should have played us. They attacked our back line. It wasn’t one of our better games. It wasn’t as clean a first half. Our overall play was much better in the second half. You’ve got to be precise when you play the ball in the air, and we weren’t.”

Following a couple of Holley saves that prevented Shelbyville from extending the lead, Brandon Carrascoza scored the equalizer for Central near the midpoint of the first half on a free kick after a Golden Eagle foul.

That score held up into intermission, before Ramirez put the hosts ahead 2-1 with his direct kick from about 40 yards out just six minutes into the second half.

“I just look and see where the keeper is at, and I know where to hit it,” Ramirez said.

Shelbyville managed to even the contest when Noah Carballoso punched a rebound off the left post past Holley with 17:34 to play.

“We were out of position on the first goal,” Szydlowski said. “They pressed the whole game. You’ve got to give them credit for the second goal.”

The deadlock set the stage for Ramirez’s gamewinner, following another Shelbyville foul.

“Hat’s off to them; they’ve got a lot of talent,” Golden Eagles coach Chris Fritz said. “With a guy like Ramirez, any foul can be dangerous. He can put them away.”

“You don’t want to give Vic any opportunity from a free-kick standpoint,” Szydlowski said. “He’s special. It’s not like we practice that.”

With the win, Columbia Central is set to host Stewarts Creek – which fell 2-0 to Oakland in the District 7-AAA finals – in Tuesday’s Region 4-AAA semifinal. Shelbyville will travel Tuesday to Oakland.

Courtesy photos by Buffy Holt

Richland slugs its way to district title over Mt. Pleasant

By Chris Yow

MT. PLEASANT — The hits took a little longer to fall than Richland coach Annette Edwards wanted, but once they did, her Lady Raiders took advantage. Her team busted out 10 runs over the final two innings to take the District 10-A title 11-1 in five innings over Mt. Pleasant.

“These girls are determined, and when they set their mind to something, they are going to get it done,” Edwards said. “I never doubted tonight the hits would eventually fall, but it took longer than usual.”

Mt. Pleasant’s Sophie Rettinger held the Lady Raiders to just two hits over the first three innings. Her defense made both routine and difficult plays to help pull her through.

In the fourth inning, however, a pair of singles by Halle Braden and Katie Garner got things rolling for Richland. An error helped plate a pair of runs before Allie Garner sent a fly ball to center where it slipped under a charging Baleigh Gray’s glove and rolled several feet, allowing two runs to score. Another may have scored, but Gray Teegarden mistook the stop sign meant for Garner as if it were for her to remain at third base.

With a commanding lead, the district’s pitcher of the year Brooklyn Reed took over. The lone Tiger run scored after reaching on a dropped third strike and a sacrifice fly in the first inning. From there, Reed was dominant, giving up just one hit and one walk for the game.

“She’s all we have right now, and she’s carried us since she was in 8th grade,” Edwards said. “She’s going to push through whatever the circumstances are; she’s definitely a team player.”

Richland plated six in the fifth and walked off the first district title since 2014, according to Edwards, which was the year following the Lady Raiders’ only fast-pitch state title.

For Mt. Pleasant, a district title was the goal, but a spot in the region tournament for the first time since 2015 is a big step for this program, coach Misti Grooms said.

“That last team that went to region had more (upperclassmen), and this team is really young,” she said.

The Lady Tigers have just two seniors and three juniors on the team. The experience of making it out of a district tournament, Grooms said, is going to play a big role in the future of the program.

“I have a team full of freshmen, really. Even my sophomores I consider freshmen because we didn’t get to play last year,” she said. “For a lot of my girls our first practice was the first time they picked up a bat in a year.”

The opponents for each team have not been published, but the two will match up with teams from District 9-A in the region tournament.

10-A All-Tournament Team: Gracie Adams, Richland; Katie Thomason, Mt. Pleasant; Madelyn Woodard, Santa Fe; Rachel Rich, Richland; Briley Boles, Culleoka; Shelby McNeal, Mt. Pleasant; Brooklyn Reed, Richland

The Rundown: May 13, 2021

Wednesday results
Baseball
8-AAA Finals
Lincoln County 3, Lawrence County 1

11-AAA Finals
Independence 18, Dickson County 4
11-AAA Losers Bracket Finals
Dickson County 3, Franklin 2

12-A Finals
Loretto 14, Summertown 9

Softball
8-A Tournament
Huntland 9, Eagleville 3
Moore Co. 4, Fayetteville 3

11-AAA Winners Bracket
Summit 1, Dickson Co. 0
11-AAA Losers Bracket
Franklin 1, Spring Hill 0
Brentwood 3, Page 2

12-AA Tournament
Nolensville 4, Marshall Co. 3

DII-A Middle Region
CA 7, Goodpasture 1

Girls Tennis
CA’s Anna Claire Butt and Hallie Butterfield won their quarterfinal match against Clarksville Academy 6-2, 6-3; Lost semifinal match to USJ. They will play in the consolation match tomorrow at 3:30

Thursday’s schedule
Softball
8-A Softball
Eagleville vs. Moore Co, 5:30 pm
Winner vs. Huntland, 7 pm

10-A Softball Championship
Richland at Mt Pleasant, 5:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer
8-AAA Finals
Shelbyville at Columbia Central, 7 p.m.

Roundup: Baseball, softball recaps

Baseball

Lincoln County 3, Lawrence County 1: The Lincoln County Falcons will go down in history as the last champion in the traditional District 8-AAA tournament. Each team plated a run in the first, but Lincoln County was able to get another in the second and one in the sixth to put away the Wildcats. Grant James had the lone Wildcats RBI, while he and Luke Nichols were the only two players to garner a hit off either of the Falcons’ pitchers. Both teams will advance to the regional tournament.

Loretto 14, Summertown 9: Summertown finally ran out of arms. Loretto scored five runs in the seventh to take control and take home the 12-A title. Things looked good early for the Eagles when Drake Blackwood homered as part of a three-run first. Summertown added another run in the second, but the Mustangs rallied and took the lead on a Caden Porter 3-run homer in the fourth. Blackwood homered in the bottom half and Lane Burleson added a round-tripper to take a 7-6 lead. Loretto pulled ahead with two in the fifth and another in the sixth. Grant Burleson then tied the game at 9 with a 2-run shot. Garrett Fisher had four RBIs in the game, while Porter added three.

Independence 18, Dickson Co. 4: Independence completed its improbable run to the region tournament as the No. 6-seed in the 11-AAA tournament with a massive offensive output on Wednesday. The Eagles erupted for six runs in the first and 10 in the third to grab the second and final berth in the region tournament. Cooper Hargrove and Jacob Almon combined to keep the Dickson County offense at bay from the bump, and the Eagles roughed up all but one of the six Cougar pitchers they faced. Jack Baughman hit a homer and had four RBIs to lead Indy, while Logan Molnar also added three hits of his own.

Softball

Summit 1, Dickson Co. 0 (9 inn.): A night after winning with a single run, the Spartan women thought they’d do it again. In the ninth inning, Hannah Sundberg doubled and her courtesy runner, J Pittman, moved to third on a ground out before Dixie Corbin singled her home for the game’s only run. Elena Escobar picked up where she left off on Tuesday, going the distance and giving up no runs on seven hits and striking out 11.

Even in defeat, Martinez, seniors change the culture at Spring Hill

By Chris Yow

FRANKLIN — The 2021 season certainly didn’t end the way Spring Hill seniors D’naijah Wade and Kat Carter wanted it to, but the pair — along with first-year coach Angelina Martinez — weren’t going down without a fight.

This season’s fight ended in the 10th inning against Franklin at Fly Park on Wednesday with a 1-0 loss.

“I think Coach (Gary) Caperton said it best in our meeting after the game. He told the girls, ‘It means something different to be a Lady Raider now,'” Martinez said. “We are not a pushover anymore.”

With Carter in the circle, the Lady Raiders had a chance to win every night out. The Jacksonville State signee gave up just one hit and sat down 22 Franklin hitters on strikes in the game, giving her 306 punchouts on the season.

She took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but gave up a leadoff single. After a strikeout, Martinez elected to load the bases with a pair of intentional walks, and the gamble paid off. Carter sat down the next two Franklin hitters on strikes.

The lone run in the 10th came on a ground ball by Caroline Willis to third base, but an errant throw from Marissa Ellis to first base allowed Emme Glover to score from second base where she was placed due to the International Tie Breaker rule.

With the loss, Spring Hill was eliminated from the tournament in back-to-back 1-0 losses to Summit and Franklin, following a 13-run outburst in the opening round at Brentwood.

When Carter and Wade were underclassmen, there was little doubt the Lady Raiders would be making an early exit from the tournament, but this season — under Martinez’s tutelage — there was a new expectation.

“In my first two years there were so many girls who just didn’t care whether they were out there or not,” Carter said. “Nothing against Coach Caperton because he couldn’t make them care, but Coach Martinez brought a different style of coaching.

“She was tough on us, and every girl in a jersey wanted to wear it this year. We needed that.”

A Spring Hill graduate, Martinez was part of a program that saw four coaches in each of her four years, with Caperton arriving for her senior season. That experience allowed her to reach the seniors and connect with them before the year began.

“I told them I knew what it was like to have a new coach your senior year,” she said. “I wanted them to know that I had their backs, and if they bought in that we would change the culture here.”

Consider the culture changed.

“I am so proud to be on this team,” Wade said. “We were so close as a team, and we never had that before. This loss hurts worse than any other season-ending loss we’ve ever had because of that.”

Never having a chance to play in a state tournament as a player, that goal is now one Martinez hopes to reach as a coach. Carter has faith in her coach to achieve it.

“I have no doubt in my mind that she’s going to win a ring as a coach,” Carter said. “And when she does, I’m going to be right there and I’ll be able to say that I was on the team that started it all.”

Photos by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports