Baylor and Central were each 2-0 after pool play Friday at Warner Park in Baylor's first Hits for Hope high school softball tournament benefiting the MaryEllen Locher Foundation scholarship fund.
Baylor rallied and defeated Columbia Academy 8-6 in four innings before beating Grace Academy 11-0 in five.
Central also had a comeback victory, 4-3 over Meigs County in five innings, then defeated Brentwood High 7-2.
Pool play continues today starting at 8 a.m. Single-elimination is set to begin at 1 p.m. The championship game is slated for 7.
Baylor's offense came from throughout the lineup. Crosby Huckabay was 2-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored in the Lady Red Raiders' first game, and she hit a triple in the second game.
"We hit the ball really well," Baylor coach Kelli Smith said. "To get down 6-0 in the first game and to come back was something. They have so much confidence in their ability to score runs, and it's always somebody different. That's the great thing about it."
Sarah Moore was the winning pitcher against Columbia Academy. Katie Dempsey got the win against the Lady Golden Eagles.
Ally Welch sparked Central in its opener, going 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs. Hannah Powell was 3-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored against Brentwood. Lexie and Chasidy Ainslie were the Lady Pounders' winning pitchers.
"I was really excited about the first game," said Central coach LeeAnne Shurette, whose team trailed 3-0 before scoring four in the bottom of the third. "They didn't lay down. They had to earn it. The second game was the first time we've played a night game under the lights. That was a good learning experience."
GPS and Marion County were among the 1-0 teams and East Hamilton went 1-0-1. Madi Stanley went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Katy Richardson was 2-for-3 and scored twice for the Bruisers, whose winning pitcher was Corey Swafford in an 11-5 five-inning victory over Arts & Sciences.
"I thought we hit the ball pretty well," GPS coach Susan Crownover said. "We've been getting more timely hits than in times past."
Harlie Jordan allowed three hits and had nine strikeouts when Marion beat Meigs County 3-0 in five innings. Erica O'Kane was 2-for-3 and drove in all the runs.
East Hamilton played Whitwell to 1-1 through six innngs before defeating East Hickman 5-0 behind Rachel Gamble's five-inning two-hitter. Amber Phillips was 2-for-3 with a double and drove in the run against Whitwell, then hit an RBI single in the win.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
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.