Cascade ends Tigerettes' region tourney hopes
With its season on the line for the third game in a row, the Marshall County Tigerettes made the 33 mile drive to Wartrace on Thursday to take on the Lady Champions of Cascade with the winner taking on Page for the District 12-AA crown.
Two outstanding freshman pitchers in Brooklin Conger (Marshall County) and Brooke Sudduth (Cascade) would go head-to-head with Conger and the Tigerettes coming up just one run short as they headed home to Lewisburg one game short of a region tournament berth with the 3-2 loss.
"Cascade is tough team," MCHS coach Heather Denton said. "They have really good pitcher. It is really hard to score runs on (Sudduth)."
Sudduth held the Tigerettes to just four hits and after allowing the tying run on base in the top of the seventh, struck out the next three batters for 10 total whiffs, while neither pitcher gave up a walk.
Marshall County started the game out strong with leadoff hitter Allison Sheroski banging a triple before Leah Hollingsworth brought the center fielder home for the early lead.
The Tigerettes continued the early dominance on the defensive side, coming up to bat with two outs and one strike away from heading into the second inning before bad weather caused a lengthy delay.
After lightning caused a mandatory 30-minute delay the skies over Wartrace opened up and heavy rain caused the delay to extend to just under an hour before play was allowed to continue.
"The weather definitely played a major role," Denton pointed out. "I feel like we had the momentum. We scored a run quick and got two outs and two strikes on their best hitter on defense then the lightning struck. The game would have been different if we keep playing."
Cascade took time during the weather delay to re-group and after Abi Jones was hit by a Conger pitch to start the second inning, Shaina Schneider launched a two-run homer over left center to regain the lead at 2-1.
The Lady Champions tacked on its third and final run of the game when instead of the inning ending on a ground out to third base, the ball was fumbled allowing Kristen Heath to reach first and Sarah Beth Thomas to score the deciding run.
The two freshman pitchers dueled it out before the Tigerettes finally made a run at the Cascade lead in the top of the sixth inning.
Sheroski and Hollingsworth recorded singles on bloop hits just over the third basemen head and Taylor Walls brought home Hollingsworth with a double to left center to cut the lead to 3-2.
With the tying and winning runs on second and third, Sudduth was able to end the Tigerettes threat by getting Hannah Sheppard to strike out to end the inning.
Marshall County was able to start its final at bat with the tying run at first when Alli Hobbs touched first base while the fielder was still bobbling the ball, but Sudduth mowed down Emily Martin, Kathryn Donahue and Savannah Wooten in quick succession to escape with the 3-2 win.
Marshall County ended the season one game shy of the region tournament, but a team made up of mainly sophomores and freshman return for the 2017 season giving the team much to look forward to.
"I am very proud of our season but of course you never want to lose," Denton said. As a team they never gave up and battled in every game."
"I think we have several things to build on for next year," Denton continued. "Brooklin and Marlee pitched most of our games as freshmen. They now have experience on the mound. Most of our infield was new this year. They will come back with some games under their belt. We have tons of talent to build on and get ready for next year. I can't wait to get in the weight room and start off-season workouts."
Although the 2016 version of the Tigerettes was made up of mostly underclassmen, the two seniors (Martin and Sheroski) set the foundation for the younger to build upon for a successful future.
"Martin and Sheroski were great leaders for our team," Denton emphasized. "They always played with heart and gave one hundred percent. They also encouraged the younger players to never give up and push."
Marshall County 100 001 0-2 4 2
Cascade 030 000 X-3 7 2
Marshall County: Allison Sheroski 2-for-3, Leah Hollingsworth 1-for-3, Taylor Walls 1-for-3
RS: Sheroski, Hollingsworth
RBI: Walls, Hollingsworth
FC: Sydne Solomon
HBP: Hannah Sheppard
Cascade: Cascade: Sydney Smith 1-for-3, Brooke Sudduth 2-for-3, Abi Jones 1-for-2, Shaina Schneider 2-for-3.
RS: Schneider, Keeley Sutton
RBI: Schneider, Sutton
SAC: Sutton, Sara Beth Thomas
SB: Bailey Ledbetter
WP: Brooke Sudduth (7IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 10K, 0BB)
LP: Brooklin Conger (6IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 2K, 0BB)