MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The best high school softball season in Arts & Sciences' program's 19-year history came to an end at Starplex No. 4 on Wednesday with a 13-6 loss to Columbia Academy.
The Lady Bulldogs roughed up CSAS senior starter Brianna Taylor, who had thrown one-hitters in her three previous outings.
"I knew she was a great pitcher," Columbia Academy coach Brad Bradley said. "We just made some adjustments, and we were hungry to hit today."
The Lady Bulldogs trailed 5-1 before rallying for seven runs in the third, including a grand slam by Anna Katherine White.
"I'm not going to take anything away from Brianna," CSAS coach Kaity Holloway said. "That kid is one of the reasons that we're here."
Jamani Greer, one of seven Lady Patriots seniors, went 2-for-4 and had an RBI and scored a run. Junior Victorious Blanton, who along with sophomore Bri'Ana Parker were the only non-seniors in the regular starting lineup, went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
Holloway said letting go of this senior class, which led the program to its first district championship and first region title, is one of the most difficult things she's been through as a coach. The other seniors are Merecedes Benn, Brittany Patmon, Angela Petulla, Gabi Queener and Kiara Suttles.
"I'm a very proud coach," Holloway said. "From the first game of the season when we got shut out by Baylor to being here, we have come such a long way.
"This is the first time here in almost 20 years. I've got to give it to these seniors and to Victorious and Parker as well. My starters, my bench -- I wouldn't be here without all of them."
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.