published Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Soddy-Daisy's Lady Trojans clip Wilson Central in softball tournament final

Soddy-Daisy pitcher Emily Edwards (3) throws a bunted ball to first during the Wilson Central Gold-division championship game in Soddy-Daisy's Lady Trojan Invitational on Saturday.
Soddy-Daisy pitcher Emily Edwards (3) throws a bunted ball to first during the Wilson Central Gold-division championship game in Soddy-Daisy's Lady Trojan Invitational on Saturday.
Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Host Soddy-Daisy held off a late challenge by Wilson Central in the Gold final of the 24th Lady Trojan Classic high school softball tournament Saturday at Soddy Lake Kids' Park and edged the Lady Wildcats 3-2 for the championship.

Ooltewah rebounded from an unrewarding Friday in pool play and won the Silver bracket, whipping Powell 10-1 in six innings in that championship game.

Soddy-Daisy (25-6) played "small ball" in the bottom of the fourth inning against Wilson Central when it produced all of its runs. Things began with a walk to Haley Reynolds, who was replaced by pinch-runner Lauren Thomas.

Grayson Brown dropped down a sacrifice bunt and reached first base on a throwing error that sent Thomas to third. Savannah Moore's bunt single not far from home plate brought in the first run.

"We had a great situation there," Soddy-Daisy coach Wes Skiles said. "We had a great bunter up, a great runner on and it just worked out."

Hannah Smith got a reprieve with an error on her foul pop, and she ended up walking. Shana Ward's ensuing infield single drove in the second run, and an out later Abby Walker added a sacrifice fly.

After scoring a run in the fifth, the Lady Wildcats got a double from Kendall Eden and a single from Brooke Pfefferle starting the seventh. At that point Skiles, who credits assistant coach Jackie Freelend for her work with the pitching staff, replaced starter Emily Edwards with Shonna Penney.

After getting the first out, Penney did surrender an RBI single to Claire Smith. But with runners on third and second, she induced a popout and a groundout to end it.

"When you get in these tournaments, it's a long weekend and you throw a lot," Skiles said. "A pitcher will wear down a little bit. Those two have helped each other out a lot. When I went out there, Emily said, 'It's time for them to see something different, isn't it?' She knew."

The Lady Trojans were one strike away from losing in a semifinal against East Hamilton when Shana Ward came through with a tying single, and they won 4-3 in the international tiebreaker the next inning.

Reynolds had a two-run homer against the Lady Hurricanes and was 2-for-3 when they beat Whitwell 3-0 in their first game of the day.

Wilson Central edged Sequatchie County 4-3 in the other Gold semifinal. The Class AA Lady Indians went 4-2 over the weekend to improve to 13-12 overall, and every game was decided by one run except for their 4-2 victory over GPS in a quarterfinal Saturday that ended on Allyson Davenport's walk-off, three-run shot.

Ashley Moffitt had a home run and a double when Sequatchie beat Grace Academy 7-6 in its first game of the day. Davenport also hit a walk-off homer to beat Silverdale Baptist Academy in pool play Friday night.

"We played really well," Sequatchie coach Kelly Somerville said. "Tournaments like this are just practices. You come out and play triple-A schools that are better than you, and you try to beat some of them. We came out here and hit the ball. I'm really proud of the girls."

Ashunti Cooper sparked Ooltewah (24-7) in the Silver final, going 2-for-4 and scoring three runs. Summer Williams was 2-for-3 and was one of eight Lady Owls with at least one RBI in the game. Cameron Baltimore was the winning pitcher.

In earlier games, Aubbie Collake's three-run home run lifted Ooltewah past Walker Valley 5-4 and Josie Cain was 4-for-4 in an 8-2 victory over Meigs County.

"Today we swung the bat," Ooltewah coach Jon Massey said. "We finally swung it like I had hoped we would do this time of year. Now is the time we need to start playing good. We're at that point where we need to get hot and stay hot for the next three weeks and see what happens."

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him 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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