DUNLAP, Tenn. -- Sequatchie County got out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in a tie game in the top of the fifth inning Saturday in the winners-bracket final of the District 7-AA high school softball tournament.
Apparently relieved and relaxed, the host Lady Indians then came in and scored twice and went on to defeat Bledsoe County 4-2.
Afterward, Chattanooga Christian beat Signal Mountain 3-1 with Sarah Hundley pitching a four-hitter and adding a double and two RBIs. Bledsoe's Lady Warriors then rebounded from the earlier loss and eliminated CCS with a 10-1 victory behind Gabi Holland's one-hitter.
Sequatchie (33-6) and Bledsoe (26-8) will play for the district championship Monday at 6 p.m. EDT. Another championship game is set for 8, if Bledsoe wins. Both teams have secured berths in the Region 4 tournament scheduled to start May 14.
Bledsoe County had tied the game with two runs the previous inning against Lady Indians starter Ashton Condra, who then gave up a leadoff double to Faith Forgey in the fifth. After a sacrifice bunt, Condra hit the next batter and the decision was made to change pitchers.
"She walked a few, hit two batters," Sequatchie coach Courtney Stewart said. "We just thought we ought to switch it out."
Brooklyn Girdley walked the first batter she faced, loading the bases, but worked out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a foul-out.
Madi Presto's single opened the bottom of the fifth ahead of Emily Dagnan's double. Stewart, coaching third base, sensed a close play at home and decided to hold Presto, though she made a wide turn.
Katelynne Cheatham made the call a good one by hitting a sacrifice fly, and Girdley followed with a run-scoring single.
"We were hitting the ball the whole game," Stewart said. "A lot of times it was right to somebody. We hit some truly hard line drives they caught."
Meredith Mitchell was 2-for-4 and scored the Lady Indians' first-inning run on Dagnan's first double. Presto's first single drove in Allyson Davenport, who had singled leading off the third.
Judith Roberson singled and scored Bledsoe's first run on a passed ball, and Emily Dodson added a sacrifice fly. Forgey ended up 2-for-4 for the Lady Warriors, who stranded nine.
"Even though we lost, I wasn't disappointed," Bledsoe coach Jadryen Anderson said. "We played a good game -- we just left too many on base. We needed to put everything together and did a better job of that in the second game. These girls have a lot of heart and know what they want, and that's a district championship."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653.
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.