Category Archives: high school softball

Freshman lifts Lady Raiders in 11-AAA tournament

By Chris Yow

BRENTWOOD — Describing the 2021 Spring Hill softball team in a word, Brentwood coach Erica Powell used the term “fighters.”

After falling behind by a pair of runs early Monday, the Lady Raiders put up 14 unanswered to earn a 14-2 win in the first round of the District 11-AAA tournament.

If Spring Hill (11-13) coach Angelina Martinez were choosing her fighter in a game of Mortal Kombat, she would choose freshman Gracie Boehms.

“She’s the scrappiest one I’ve got,” Martinez said. “If I had a top three scrappiest, she’d be at least in that top three.”

Boehms would be a good choice. The freshman, who came into the game hitting .107 for the season, drove in four runs — including a double to tie the game in the fourth and a two-run home run in the fifth — to lead her team to a win. Those two hits were her first and second extra-base hits of the year.

As she rounded third base, Boehms’ smile was ear-to-ear before she jumped on home plate and was mauled by teammates in celebration. What was going through her head at that moment?

“I don’t even remember,” she said. “My adrenaline was so high, I was pumped.”

Following several years of early exits in the district tournament, Spring Hill has made massive strides under its first-year coach. While having what Powell calls the “best pitcher in our league” in Kat Carter certainly doesn’t hurt, it’s what the Lady Raiders bats have done recently that have made the difference.

In four of their last seven games, Spring Hill has put up at least seven runs. The 2020 team put up just 10 total runs in five games last season, and didn’t score seven total runs in their final seven games of 2019 — including five shutouts.

“Accountability is the key,” Martinez said. “If they strike out looking, they have to run, and these girls hate running.

“I had to make a decision on whether I was going to be the tough coach or if I was going to be a soft place for them, and I think I chose correctly. These girls love to be challenged.”

Carter was once again stellar as well for the guests. She went the full six and gave up two runs on six hits and struck out 10.

As the Lady Raiders came into the dugout trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning, Martinez told them to keep their composure and reminded them they have been in that situation before. That speech worked to perfection. Spring Hill put up five in the fourth and added another five in the fifth to take a commanding lead for Carter in the circle.

The speech, much like the attitude and dugout spirit, then changed to taking care of the lead and not celebrating too early.

“They never give up. No matter what, they are always alive and cheering,” Powell said. “That spirit can help teams win games they shouldn’t or beat teams by a lot when they get momentum.”

The Lady Raiders advance to take on Summit, a team they are winless against on the season, in the second round on Tuesday at Fly Park. The game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Brentwood will travel to Centennial where they await the winner of Centennial and Ravenwood in the losers bracket.

Zion softball a win from advancing

By Chris Yow

COLUMBIA — With the game tied, Zion Christian singer Halle Adcox ripped a line drive to left and cleared the bases in the fourth inning to lift her team to a 6-4 win over Davidson Academy on Thursday. The game was suspended in the bottom of the sixth inning, and umpires deemed the field unplayable following a lightning delay.

Due to TSSAA rules, the Lady Eagles were declared the winner, as the game was official.

“You hate it for their kids to end their season that way,” Zion Chr. coach Russ Adcox said. “I thought we had the momentum though. We were hitting the ball well and had our three and four hole hitters up.

“(Pitcher) Ashleia (Coble) had just gotten a huge strikeout, too.”

Davidson Acad. scored a pair of runs in the fifth, but Coble was able to get out of the inning with that strikeout. Her excitement as she came off the field was met by her dad, Eric’s, excitement who chest-bumped her to the ground.

“I told him not to hurt my pitcher,” Adcox said, laughing.

Zion got on the board early with a run in the first, but Davidson took a 2-1 lead in the third. Rebecca Hazard, who finished the game 3-for-3 singled in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.

Once again, though, the fourth inning was the key for the Lady Eagles. On Wednesday, Zion Christian plated eight runs in the fourth, and yesterday saw four runs cross, including three on the Adcox double. Hazard tripled home a run as well in the inning,

With the win, Zion Christian advances and is just one win away from a trip to the state tournament. The Lady Eagles travel to District 4 No. 1-seed Goodpasture at 3 p.m. with the trip on the line.

“We know that everybody we play is good from here on out, and if we get our bats going we will be a tough out as well,” Adcox said. “This is as far as we’ve ever been in the postseason, so we just want our girls to enjoy this experience.”

Lady Dawgs’ late surge extends win streak to 21, secures title game berth

By Maurice Patton

COLUMBIA – After rallying for four runs in the sixth inning to take control of Thursday’s Division II-A Middle Region winners bracket final softball matchup, Columbia Academy had to wait more than an hour to finish off its 5-3 victory over visiting Middle Tennessee Christian.

Before the seventh inning could get started, inclement weather that had been called for all day finally arrived, forcing a delay that concerned CA coach Seth Anderson.

“The momentum hit us right at the right time,” Anderson said of the offensive outbreak. “You could feel the energy change. I was really hoping the rain would hold off.”

Coming out of the 90-minute stoppage, Lady Bulldogs starter Averi Slaughter retired MTCS in order, getting a called strikeout to complete the comeback win.

“I think that storm hit us at the worst time possible,” Middle Tennessee Christian coach Julie Smith said. “I was feeling good until then. That strong wind, trees blowing sideways – I think that’s when they lost focus. It’s hard to be on defense in that situation.”

As the skies began to darken, the hosts began to refine their approach at the plate against MTCS starter Kyia Quigle.

Karley Harakas is mobbed at the plate by her Columbia Academy teammates following her game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning of Thursday’s 5-3 Division II-A Middle Region tournament victory over Middle Tennessee Christian. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

“This being our third time to play them, we knew they were a good team,” Anderson said. “From 1 to 9 (in the batting order), they’re solid. The pitcher is good. She keeps you off balance with the changeup. We knew we’d have our work cut out for us.

“We were out in front, popping up. It took us being disciplined in the sixth. Karley’s been swinging the bat well. She looked for something fast and put a good swing on it; same thing with Tori. You try to eliminate one pitch, find something and sit on it.”

Columbia Academy (35-2) cut into a 3-0 deficit with Tori Duval’s two-out RBI double that scored Kennedy Chatman from first base in the bottom of the fifth. The Lady Bulldogs were unable to do further damage as, after Myleah Hardy was intentionally walked (the third of her four for the day), Journey Mitchell popped out to shortstop – one of CA’s 13 flyball outs for the game.

“I think we wanted to hit so badly that we swung at pitches that weren’t in our normal zone, like the changeups,” Duval said. “We didn’t expect her to throw it as much as she did.”

By the sixth, the hosts had their revamped game plan. A Chloe Carter leadoff walk set up a game-tying homer by Karley Harakas. Laney Turner followed with a base hit, and after Abbigail Adkins bunted courtesy runner Carolina Johnson up, Karli Quillin reached on a second bunt.

An out later, Duval unloaded with a triple, capping the four-run rally before the rain started.

Duval went 3-for-4 with a pair of triples, with Quillin adding a double and her bunt single to pace the hosts offensively. Slaughter struck out eight and walked four while giving up seven hits in the win.

“A lot of that was respect for their lineup,” Anderson said, addressing the walks. “Their leadoff hitter (Macy Smith), their No. 3 hitter (Rose Davis), they’re both really tough. You’ve got to choose where you attack.

“After that delay, Averi did a great job. She pounded the strike zone.”

The win, following a 4-3 victory on March 23 in Murfreesboro and an 8-1 decision at home on April 6, extended the Lady Bulldogs’ streak to 21. Middle Tennessee Christian (15-6-1), which advanced to the winners bracket finals by scoring seven runs in its final at-bat for a 9-7 victory Wednesday over Goodpasture, drops into the region tourney losers bracket finals on Monday, with CA set to play the winner on Tuesday.

Columbia Acad. 5, Middle Tenn. Chr. 3

M 100 020 0 – 3 7 0
C 000 014 x – 5 10 1

Kyia Quigle and Mandie Barrow. Averi Slaughter and Laney Turner. W: Slaughter. L: Quigle. HR: Columbia Acad. – Karley Harakas.

Three homers not enough for Indy softball

By Chris Yow

THOMPSONS STATION — Independence belted three home runs on Sunday, but all three were solo shots, and Dickson County was able to take a 10-4 road win in District 11-AAA play.

The Cougars sent three groundball singles through the infield in the first inning and a pair of runs crossed the plate. In the bottom half, Indy senior Morgan Brown launched a solo home run over the left field fence to cut the lead to 2-1.

Brown called the home run a bittersweet moment. Although scheduled to play a final home game against Centennial this week, weather forecasts may not allow the game to be played. If this was her final home game, hitting a home run in it was certainly special.

“I didn’t even think about it like that, but now I’m kind of sad,” she said. “It’s a bittersweet moment.”

The Eagles tied the game in the second inning with another solo home run, this one from Leah Oubre also to left field. McKinlee Webb went deep in the fifth inning as well.

The fourth inning, however, was the distancing point for the Lady Cougars. With the bases loaded and two outs, a ground ball was fielded by Webb when a Cougar runner stopped just shy of the play brushing against the shortstop and the throw was late to first.

Libbie Wilson made the Lady Eagles pay on the next at-bat with a grand slam to put her team up 8-2.

Independence scored a run in the bottom of the fourth when Mo Brown walked and found her way home.

Coble leads Lady Eagles to next round of region tourney

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.”

Zion Christian pitcher Ashleia Coble went seven innings and gave up two earned runs, while striking out 12 in her team’s win in the Div. II, Middle Region tournament. (File photo by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports)

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.

Hot start propels Spartans over Indy softball

By Chris Yow

SPRING HILL — Summit coach Jenny Stevenson was excited when her team’s bats got off to a hot start. She has preached to her team all season about the importance of taking an early advantage, and the Spartan women heeded that plea in a 9-2 win over Independence in District 11-AAA play Monday.

A five-run first inning, helped along by a Lady Eagle error and hit-by-pitch, was exactly what Stevenson has wanted from her team. Three singles and a sacrifice bunt helped bring in a pair of runs to start the game. The error and HBP then loaded the bases again for Hannah Sundberg, who drove in two more runs before a fifth run scored on a groundout.

“We jokingly call ourselves a sixth-inning team,” Stevenson said. “But I was really proud of the way they came out and put the ball in play. We wanted to go into the box and be patient early, and our girls did that.”

Coming off a win over Brentwood, Independence was hoping to build momentum heading into the district tournament. Coach Shane Buchanan said when his team plays mistake-free, they are going to be a difficult matchup for anyone.

“When we play smart, we are a good team,” he said. “Tonight we had a few errors early that cost us a few runs and they took advantage.”

Independence committed five errors in the game. Morgan Brown gave up nine runs in four innings, but only three of them earned. Summit had seven hits in the game, including two each from Abby O’Reilly and Ashlyn Easley. Easley drove in a pair of runs as well.

Summit led 9-0 after the third inning, and while pleased with her team’s early offensive output, Stevenson said the zeroes across the final four frames were not the trend she wanted to see.

“We can’t get comfortable just because we came out hot,” she said. “We have to have that killer instinct, and tonight we didn’t have it.”

Hailey Rodriguez pitched two perfect innings of relief for Indy. Brown was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Indy at the plate.

“I thought we pitched pretty well at times, but we have to put it all together,” Buchanan said. “If we play every part of the game to our potential, we can be very tough to beat.

“They wanted to win a little more than us. You just have to tip your cap.”

Photos by Chris Yow / SM-Tn Sports