Tigerettes edge East Hickman
Senior starting pitcher Kalie Hobbs helped the Marshall County Tigerettes (16-9) grab sole possession of first place in the District 12-AA standings on Wednesday night, as she tossed her second no-hitter of the season to lead MCHS to a 2-1 home victory over conference co-leader East Hickman.
With both teams boasting perfect 12-0 records in District play, the Lady Eagles (19-10) held a 1-0 lead through the first three innings of play after scoring an unearned run in the opening frame.
Marshall County, however, finally got their bats going in the bottom of the fourth and crossed home plate twice in the inning to seize a 2-1 advantage before Hobbs held East Hickman scoreless over the final three frames.
After issuing a walk in the top of the first inning to Lady Eagle catcher Dana Winfrey, Hobbs retired the last 20 East Hickman batters she faced while notching nine strikeouts overall.
"I was able to hit my spots today and kept the ball low. I threw my off speed stuff when I needed too and tried to keep them off balance," said Hobbs. "I knew that if I threw strikes my defense would back me up.
The Tigerettes, meanwhile, scratched out five hits and a walk against Lady Eagle staff ace Emily Robb. Third baseman Austyn Whaley changed the momentum of the game by belting a solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth inning, while Morgan Moyers, Brianna Roberts, Katie Crabtree, and Mecia Reed each singled with Reed driving in one run.
"We knew East Hickman had a strong team and a good pitcher so we worked on getting a quick bat through the hitting zone and I think we did that today," said Marshall County coach Holly Cook. "Austyn has been huge for us this year. She wants the bat in her hands in big situations and has come through for us a bunch of times."
MCHS gift rapped a run for the Lady Eagles in the top of the first inning, as Brooke Graham scored all the way from first on a Tigerette throwing error to give East Hickman a 1-0 advantage after being hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame.
The Tigerettes only mustered a Crabtree single through the first three innings, but saw their offense come to life in the bottom of the fourth and pushed across two runs in the frame to take a 2-1 lead.
After Whaley blasted a solo shot over the centerfield fence for her seventh homer of the season, Roberts singled and Watkins drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Both runners then moved up 60 feet on a fielder's choice by Crabtree before Reed plated Roberts by lining a single into left field.
Although Watkins was thrown out at home plate by Lady Eagle right fielder Maddi Clark while trying to score on a Medley fly out to end the fourth inning, that proved to be all the run support Hobbs would need, as she did not allow a Lady Eagle batter to reach base over the final three frames to clinch Marshall County's fourth straight victory.