published Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Three Chattanooga area locals reach NSA finals

Three local teams have made it to the last day of play in the National Softball Association A Division Eastern World Series held in the Chattanooga area.

The 16-under Heritage Generals and 10-under Tennessee Fury '02 have secured spots in today's finals. The 16-under Chattanooga Force remain alive in the losers bracket.

The Generals will play at Field No. 5 at The Summit of Softball complex. The Fury will play at Warner Park's No. 4.

The Xtreme Havoc from Illinois have an 18-under championship berth at The Summit's No. 6. The Louisiana Patriots are in the 14-under final at Frost Stadium, and the Indy Crush 2000 will play for the 12-under title at Warner Park No. 3. All finals are scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m.

Heritage (7-0) won three games Friday, including dropping the Force to the losers bracket with a 5-4 victory.

"Everybody contributed," Heritage coach Steve Chattin said. "We executed real well. We got down several squeeze bunts today."

Olivia Tamewitz sparked the Generals' offense Friday from the top of the order, going 6-for-9 and scoring five runs. Chattin said Katie Pritchett played standout defense at third base all day, and she went 3-for-8 with a double.

Hannah Wills was 5-for-9 with a double and four RBIs and earned two of the pitching victories. Lauren Lawson had the other to go with two saves.

"We've had solid pitching and excellent defense all week, and we've been excellent in the short game," Chattin said. "Somebody's got to beat you twice now. We've played a lot of games the last few days. We're going a lot on heart and desire right now. There's still some good teams left."

Kathleen Sledge contributed a home run during the four-run inning that broke the tie, and the Force bounced back after losing to the Generals and defeated the Louisiana Patriots 5-1 to advance to today's play. The winner of their 8 a.m. game against the Heartland Havoc '96 from Illinois will play the Ohio Outlaws (Black) in the losers-bracket final, and that victor will play the Generals for the title.

McKenna Morgan was 6-for-8 with two RBIs and Kayla Hughes was 6-for-9 with three RBIs on the day, each with two doubles. Alicia Raymond was the winning pitcher in both Force victories Friday.

"We've gotten great pitching in every game," Force coach Dale Jones said. "All we've got to do is hit. When we hit, we're pretty tough."

The Fury are 6-0 in the tournament after defeating the Shock '02 from Tennessee, 5-4, and then beating Georgia's Worth Cobras 10-2.

"We've pitched well all week," said Fury coach Pete Hughes, who is the father of Kayla with the 16-under Force. "We haven't given up a lot of free bases. Defensively we've played outstanding. Our offense has come around lately."

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie

about Kelley Smiddie...

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 ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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