Wallace, Tigerettes earn best in county bragging rights
The Marshall County Tigerettes came into the three-way tussle at the Field of Dreams as the favorites and in the end they proved it, beating county rivals Forrest and Cornersville by identical 2-0 scores.
MCHS head coach Holly Cook said after the game, "It feels amazing, it does. I am so proud of the way we played tonight. We played great defensively and poked in a couple runs when we needed to."
Tigerette senior pitcher Mieke Wallace was magnificent in the circle for Cook's talented squad, crafting two complete game gems to claim a year's worth of bragging rights for the girls from Lewisburg.
Wallace surrendered just 7 hits, struck out 7, and walked just one batter in the two contests and to top it off, bashed a long insurance home run into the rainy night's sky in the sixth inning versus the Lady Bulldogs in the title contest.
"Mieke was unbelievable," said Cook. "She threw great and hit her spots like she was supposed to. She had so much confidence in her defense and they played great behind her. I am so proud of all of them."
Wallace was certainly the recipient of some eye popping defensive stops behind her, especially from shortstop Brianna Roberts, who made several great plays.
Cook said about the great defensive effort by her Tigerettes, "Any time it was hit I was confident a play was going to be made. And there was hard hit balls and we were still making plays and that is what has got us through this year."
Cornersville and Marshall County came into the third game of the night at 1-0 with shutout wins over the host Lady Rockets, who managed just six hits the entire evening.
The atmosphere was electric and the place was packed as UT signee Haley Fagan shut down Forrest in game one, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning before her counterpart in the circle, Shelby Stinnett busted it up with a one out single to left.
Fagan was in stride, striking out 7 Lady Rockets and walking just two while mixing her speed and location beautifully in the two-hit 3-0 complete game victory.
The Lady Dawgs scored first, beginning with an event leading off walk by McKenzie Hopkins.
Stinnett, who suffered her first loss of the season in the contest, struck out the next two batters before Lindsey Dalton scratched out an infield single.
Amanda Griggs stepped up and delivered an RBI single to center for a 1-0 CHS lead.
Things got interesting as the next batter, Erica Blackwell dumped a ball into right field that Chelsea Johnson scooped up and threw to first where Blackwell was called safe by the first base umpire.
Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham stormed out of the home dugout to argue the call and eventually got the out call from the third base ump after several minutes of pleading and prodding for an appeal.
The Cornersville faithful were not happy with the call, but were in good hands with Fagan, who struck out the first two Lady Rockets in the home half of the inning before a 5-3 putout ended the frame.
Forrest would not get a base runner off of Fagan until Johnson drew a 3-2 walk in the bottom of the fourth.
Meanwhile Cornersville had added another run in the second on an RBI single by Jessica Dillard that scored Fagan, who had led off the frame with a double off of the centerfield fence.
Blackwell gave Fagan a 3-0 lead in the sixth, knocking in Dalton, who had reached on a Forrest error, leading off the frame.
Fagan took the 3-0 margin to the bottom of the seventh and started it with a whiff.
Stinnett ruined the no-no with a humpback single into short left and Rachel Curtis followed with a single to center, giving the Chapel Hill fans some hope of a comeback.
There would be no comeback as the game ended on a helter skelter double play, giving the Lady Dawgs some measure of revenge for their season ending losses in back-to-back years to Forrest at the Spring Fling.
Next up for the Lady Rockets were the red-hot Tigerettes, winners of their last 10 out of 11 ballgames.
There was no scoring in the first inning, but the Tigerettes broke through with a small ball run in the second off of Rachel Curtis.
Mary Medley led off the frame with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Danielle Toseland.
Morgan Moyers, filling in for KiKi Summers, who suffered a season ending knee injury in an outfield collision Tuesday night versus Fairview, singled to center putting Tigerettes on the corners.
Kayla Harmon bounced a ball to Curtis, who had to go to first, allowing Medley to score, but got the out at first and a bonus third out at third on a great throw by Stofel to Stinnett for the tag.
Wallace would not allow the Lady Rockets to use the momentum from the great defensive play, setting them down 1-2-3 in the home half of the inning.
Brandie Jett led off the second, bunting the ball in front of the plate.
The throw to first was way over the first baseman's head and Jett scooted all the way to third base on the miscue by the Forrest catcher.
Jett came across home on a passed ball on the second pitch to Austyn Whaley, making it a 2-0 ballgame.
Curtis found her groove in the circle, allowing just one hit the rest of the way.
Forrest would mount their best threat in the fifth when Johnson became the first Lady Rocket base runner with a one out single to right.
Stinnett reached on an error, putting runners on first and second.
Curtis bashed a high ball to the fence that DeLorean Taylor squeezed for the second out.
Adrean Jordan came up and ripped a single to centerfield, but Toseland gunned down Johnson at the plate, ending the inning.
Forrest would not threaten again as the Tigerettes moved on to play the Lady Dawgs in the battle of the unbeatens.
The threat of severe weather was looming as the game began with Wallace in the circle versus Fagan.
There was no scoring in the first inning, but MCHS loaded the bases on consecutive one out singles in the top of the second by Wallace, Medley, and Toseland.
An error on the Cornersville shortstop made it 1-0, but Fagan reared back and retired the next two Tigerettes in order to escape without any further damage.
The game went to the windy fourth where CHS got two base runners on with two outs on a walk to Katie Pigg and a base hit by Dalton.
Wallace got out of the tight spot on a fly ball to left, holding onto the shut-out.
The rain began to fall in the sixth when Wallace stepped to the dish with one out and sent one into the night, deep over the left field fence for a 2-0 MCHS lead.
Wallace smiled and said about the home run, "That felt good. I haven't been hitting that great this season. I have been playing with Haley Fagan since I was little. I have been playing against her and with her and it felt really good to hit that ball."
Pigg got a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth before Jett made a great play on a foul ball next to the Cornersville dugout for out number three.
The weather was about to turn ugly as the game went to the bottom of the 7th in Cornersville's last chance at bat.
Wallace got a ground ball to Jett for the first out, Blackwell flied deep to left for the second out, and the game ended on a ground ball to third that Jett fielded and zipped to first, ending the game and the terrific three way tussle with the Tigerettes crowned the queens of the county.
Wallace said about the title, "It feels great to prove to everyone that we are not the number three team in Marshall County like everyone has been saying the past couple of years."
Next year's tussle will be held at Reese Hambrick Field in Lewisburg.