DUNLAP, Tenn. — Coming out of a 30-minute delay for a power outage, Bledsoe County needed less than five minutes before turning out the lights for good on rival Seqautchie County on Wednesday night. Having built a commanding 4-1 lead in the first inning, then adding five more in the fourth, the Lady Warriors' run-ruled the hosts 11-1 for the District 7-AA softball championship when Judith Roberson tripled on the first pitch after the delay, then scored on a wild pitch.
It was the fifth time this season the Lady Warriors have beaten their rival, and the title game mercy rule came just one night after holding on for a 2-1 win.
"Having such a close game with them [Tuesday], that motivated us to come out and swing the bats and jump on them early," said senior Haley Fugate, who had a pair of doubles and an RBI. "We wanted to run-rule them here on their field."
Bledsoe's title snapped Sequatchie's run of having claimed two straight district crowns.
Sequatchie scored first when Allyson Davenport led off the game with a double, then crossed the plate on a fielder's choice by Payton Carlton. But senior pitcher Lydia Ritchie was nearly flawless from that point on, allowing just one more hit the rest of the night, and also had two hits at the plate.
Bledsoe County (34-6) quickly responded to take the lead for good in the home half of the first when the first four batters reached safely. Ritchie led off with a double and scored on Faith Forgey's single. Makenzie Smith drove in two with a double off the top of the fence and Fugate plated another with a sacrifice fly.
Bledsoe then added another run in the third and blew the game open with five more in the fourth.
"It's tough to beat a good team that many times in a season," Bledsoe coach Ricky Ritchie said. "But I think having such a close game with them the night before got their attention. The seniors came through, and we had a lot of girls making good contact."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...