Tigerettes run-rule East Hickman for title
After suffering their first district loss of the season the previous night at Lewis County, the Marshall County Tigerettes bounced back in a big way, run-ruling East Hickman 13-2 in Lyles Tuesday night to claim the District 12-AA regular season title.
"They had some nerves, they have never been in a position to be able to be number one," said MCHS head coach Holly Cook. "We should be used to it and should be playing for that number one spot every year, so I think the nerves got them a little bit and our bats got clicking."
MCHS banged out 15 hits off East Hickman ace hurler Emily Robb and were helped by four crucial Lady Eagles' errors in the field.
On the other hand, MCHS senior circle dweller Kalie Hobbs showed her season-long resilience as she gave up a two-run homerun to Dana Winfrey in the first inning before shutting down the home squad the rest of the way in a seven-hit, five strikeout complete game.
"That happened in the first game we played with them when they scored pretty quick," said Cook. "But, I have so much confidence in my girls, they don't ever lay down and they don't ever give up."
Emily Robb set down MCHS 1-2-3 in the first before Winfrey's dinger gave East Hickman a 2-0 lead, but the Tigerettes stormed back with three runs in the top of the second to take the lead for good.
Brianna Roberts and Ashton Watkins banged back-to-back singles to start the rally, and after a Robb strikeout, Mecia Reed singled to left to load the sacks.
Mary Medley bounced a ball to short, but the force play at home was negated because Winfrey did not have her cleats on home plate.
Danielle Toseland was drilled by Robb with the bases still full, making it 2-0 and Reed scampered home on another East Hickman miscue in the infield to give MCHS a one-run lead.
Hobbs struck out two of the three East Hickman batters she faced in the bottom of the inning and in the top of third, Roberts reached on a leadoff error, Watkins sacrificed her to second, and Katie Crabtree laced a single up the middle to put Tigerettes on the corners.
Reed sent a ball deep to left field and Roberts trotted home with run number four on the sacrifice fly RBI.
A line-drive to Crabtree at first base ended the home half of the frame and Austyn Whaley beat out an infield grounder with one out in the foruth.
Roberts followed with a single to right and the ball got past the East Hickman outfielder as Whaley circled the bases to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
Hobbs was still strong in the fifth, striking out two more Lady Eagles' batters.
In the top of fifth, the Lewisburg girls applied some heavy pressure, scoring four more runs as they sent 10 batters to the plate.
Reed started the rally with a one-out base on balls and Mary Medley followed with a base hit.
Mary Kate McGehee came in to run for Medley, and after Robb got the second out on strikeout, Morgan Moyers kept the inning alive with a base hit.
Madison Thomason hit a high pop that looked like the third out, but the East Hickman second baseman dropped the ball and Reed and McGehee alertly scored on the miscue.
Whaley drilled an RBI single that scored Moyers and Roberts followed with another base hit, setting up a Watkins RBI base knock to left, making it a 9-2 contest.
East Hickman got two-on with two-outs in the bottom of the inning on a pair of walks, but Hobbs got out the jam on a hard ground ball to Roberts, who threw to Crabtree at first for the third out.
The Tigerettes would board the bus before dark as they scored four more runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Thomason and a long two-run shot over the center field fence by Whaley, making it a 13-2 ballghame.
Hobbs gave up a walk and a single in the bottom of the inning before the title went to Lewisburg on a pop-up to Watkins at second base.
Medley (3-4), Roberts (3-5, two runs scored), and Whaley (3-5, three RBIs, three runs scored) all had three hits a piece in the game, Watkins (2-3, sac bunt, one run scored, one RBI) had two base knocks, and Reed ((1-2, sac fly, base on balls, two runs scored, RBI), Moyers, Thomason, and Crabtree all had one hit each.
The top-seeded Tigerettes (18-10, 15-1) will play at Reese Hambrick Field in Lewisburg the entire District 12-AA Tournament.
Cook said about the home field advantage, "I am excited about that, hopefully we can get a big crowd out and mow on through the district tournament."
MCHS beat Summit 10-0 on Thursday and will play Lewis County on Friday night at 5:30 p.m.