MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Soddy-Daisy won its way into the Class AAA high school softball tournament's winners-bracket final by beating Seymour 2-0 and earned another victory Wednesday by keeping pitcher Kelsey Nunley away from any celebration.
A year ago the Lady Trojans defeated Beech to get to the winners-bracket final, but Nunley's middle finger on her pitching hand was stepped on and gashed afterward. How could she forget?
“I stayed away from everybody,” Nunley said after pitching a one-hitter with no walks and 15 strikeouts.
Soddy-Daisy (40-7) will play Beech today at approximately 8 p.m. EDT in a rematch of the Gold championship game in Soddy-Daisy's Lady Trojan Invitational won by the Lady Buccaneers.
When asked what encouragement he’ll give his team for today’s game, Soddy-Daisy coach Clifford Kirk said, “It won’t take much.”
The game against the Lady Eagles started on Starplex No. 1, but a light tower went out with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Lady Trojans batting. Nunley said it bothered her a little that the game had to be completed on Starplex No. 3.
“It had kind of a different feel to it,” Nunley said. “It wasn't as loud.”
Soddy-Daisy's offense came alive in the third inning on an RBI fielder's choice by Kali Henderson and a sacrifice fly by Mariam Wood.
“That's OK,” Kirk said, “as long as I've got the pitching I've got.”
* Soddy-Daisy 7, Mt. Juliet 1: At Starplex No. 1, the Lady Trojans won their tournament opener earlier in the day.
The game was scoreless until Henderson, who finished 2-for-3, hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Nunley got the pitching victory in that one with a three-hitter.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.