The Arts & Sciences softball team had the total package on display Tuesday.
And in doing so, the Lady Patriots now are the only unbeaten team in the District 5-A standings after defeating host Grace Academy 8-1.
CSAS (14-4-1, 3-0) has been rained out of more district games than Grace (11-12, 4-1) but currently holds the advantage in the loss column. The Lady Golden Eagles, who won a state championship for the first time last spring, have had a stranglehold on the top of the league standings in recent years.
"A district win is always a good thing," CSAS coach Kaity Holloway said. "Grace has a good team, but like I tell the girls, it's not about the team in the other dugout. If we take care of what we need to do, stay within ourselves and worry about the name across the front of our jerseys, I feel confident in us any day."
The Lady Patriots' offensive success Tuesday included two home runs as well as two bunt singles. One of the bunts was a factor in their two-run seventh. The homers were by Kiara Suttles and Jamani Greer in a three-run fifth.
"That's something I'm always confident in about our team," Holloway said. "We can hit home runs, but we do the little things right, too."
Senior right-hander Liana Rodrigues, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga commitment, pitched the first five innings for CSAS. After allowing one hit, one walk and totaling eight strikeouts, with a six-run lead she gave way to Brianna Taylor.
Holloway said she had planned to pitch both because her team hadn't played in a week and both needed some work. The only hit Taylor allowed was eighth-grader Alex Smith's line-drive homer down the left-field line with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
The Lady Patriots made no errors.
Greer ended up 2-for-4 with four RBIs, two on a single in the third after Angela Petulla drove in the first run with a groundout. Taylor also was 2-for-4 and scored a run. Suttles was hit twice and walked in addition to homering, and she scored three runs.
The teams play again next Tuesday at Warner Park at 5:30 p.m.
"They have a good team," Grace coach Tina Walker said of the Lady Patriots. "Give them credit. I'd say Rodrigues is probably the best pitcher in Chattanooga right now. We'll come back out next time with a game plan, make a few pitches, and we should be a lot better off."
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.