Star Cascade pitcher slows Tigerettes
The MCHS (14-4, 3-1) Tigerettes came into last Thursdays game against Cascade (11-4, 3-0) on a high note after winning the Zaxby's Classic in Clarksville by taking 5-of-6 six games in just two days, culminating with a title game win over 3A Clarksville Northwest.
MCHS marched into Pulaski three days later to rock district rival Giles County 15-1 to stand atop the District 12-AA standings, tied with one other opponent---Cascade.
Pitchers square off
The game versus the Lady Champions was a pitching duel from the outset with MCHS ace Brooklin Conger squaring off against Cascade hurler Brooke Sudduth pitch for pitch.
In the end, Sudduth won the game with her bat, knocking a solo home run deep into center field in the sixth inning as the Wartrace girls escaped from Lewisburg with the 3-1 win and the district lead with half of the season remaining.
"I thought they did a great job battling back, it's not over until that last out," MCHS coach Heather Denton said. "We play them twice in the season, so we just have to know next time we're coming after them, we're gonna hit the ball."
MCHS pitcher Brook Conger held the Champions in check for the entirety of the contest allowing just three runs on eight hits in all seven innings, but Sudduth allowed just one seventh inning run after pitching a near perfect game the previous six innings.
Couldn't reach base
"I think we did good on defense, we could have done a little better with hitting and getting on top of the ball," Conger said. "She had a mean changeup and we prepared for her, we just couldn't get on base."
The Lady Champions struck first in the top of the third inning when Sudduth knocked an RBI single to drive in the initial run, but with runners on second and third, Emily Martin snagged a lightning fast line drive to third base to end the inning and the Cascade threat.
The Lady Champions tacked another run in the scoring column in the top of the sixth when Sudduth drilled a shot over the center field fence just under the scoreboard.
The next two Champion batters would pop out to Ali Hobbs at second base and a ground out to Leah Hollingsworth at shortstop allowed Conger to escape the inning with no further damage.
The Tigerettes would finally make a push in the bottom of the sixth when Sydne Solomon teed off a shot to the left field fence, inches from going over and the MCHS catcher settled for a double.
After a Hannah Sheppard pop-up to second, Hobbs drilled a line drive that was caught at the last possible second and Marshall County would leave another inning with runners left stranded in scoring position.
"We need to hit when runners are in scoring position," Denton said. "We left nine on and I would say at least six of those nine were in scoring position. So we have to score when they're in scoring position."
The Champions would add one more run in the top of the seventh before Martin saved the day again when a grounder to third turned into a double play, getting MCHS out of the inning with minimal damage.
Loaded bases, but...
The Tigerettes opened the seventh inning with some energy and after Martin struck out to start the frame, Lexi Cashion went to first base on a walk and Kathryn Donahue headed there too after getting hit by a pitch.
Leah Hollingsworth followed with a base on balls to load the bases for senior Allison Sheroski, who delivered with a fielder's choice RBI to second, scoring Cashion to cut the lead to two.
With runners on second and third and two outs, Taylor Walls popped up to second base to end the game.
"We came in knowing it was going to be a tough game, but I don't think we knew how tough it was going to be," MCHS second baseman Hobbs said. "We got down when it was 1-0, but in the end we scored by getting up (in the dugout). So we need to stay up the whole game."
The Tigers will not face the Champions again until the second to last game of the season on April 28.
Cascade at Marshall County
Cascade 001 001 1-3 8 0
Marshall Co. 000 000 1-1 3 1
Cascade: Sydney Smith 2-for-3, Brooke Sudduth 2-for-3, Katelyn Jarrell 1-for-3, Abi Jones 1-for-3, Shaina Schneider 1-for-2, Sarah Beth Thomas 1-for-2.
Marshall County: Allison Sheroski 1-for-4, Sydne Solomon 1-for-3, Ali Hobbs 1-for-2.
WP: Brooke Sudduth
LP: Brooklin Conger (7IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 2K, 1BB)
Next game: April 14 versus Page, 5:30 p.m. at Lewisburg