In his first season as Sale Creek head softball coach, longtime Soddy-Daisy coach Clifford Kirk has guided the Lady Panthers to within one win of a spot in the state tournament.
They defeated Arts & Sciences 3-2 in the Region 3-A semifinals Monday and are assured of a sectional appearance Friday after hosting Whitwell in the region final Wednesday.
Sara Bowman had a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, and Brittany Latham scattered a pair of runs in seven innings but struck out seven for Sale Creek (21-16-1), which won the District 6-A tournament as the third seed. Brianna Taylor was 3-for-3 with an RBI for CSAS, the 5-A regular-season champion.
• Meigs County 7, Whitwell 1: Morgan Boggess earned the pitching win and batted in two runs as the Lady Tigers (22-10) scored six runs in the first inning in the Region 3-AA semifinal.
Madison Hampson and Taylor Boggess each had two hits, with Hampton knocking in two runs and Boggess scoring twice.
The Lady Tigers will face East Hamilton, a 4-2 winner over Polk County, in the region title game.
• Bledsoe County 3, DeKalb County 1: Lydia Ritchie struck out 10 in improving to 24-2, and the Lady Warriors scored in the first, fifth and six innings in claiming a spot in the Region 4-AA final.
Faith Forgey homered for Bledsoe (35-6), which will face Upperman in the championship game. Upperman beat Sequatchie County 7-0.
Behind a gutty effort from pitcher Matty Henshaw, the East Hamilton baseball team earned a spot in the Region 3-AA championship game with a 4-2 win Monday over Meigs County.
Henshaw scattered eight hits in the complete-game victory but struck out 11 and walked none.
"He really worked himself out of some jams," Hurricanes coach Steve Garland said. "To have that kind of pitching performance in an elimination game in the region tournament is huge."
Austin Gatewood and Matt Milita provided the offense for East Hamilton, as Gatewood doubled and had two RBIs while Milita was 3-for-3 with a run. Hunter Parker was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three stolen bases for the Hurricanes, who will visit Sequoyah in the region final.
• Marion County 3, Arts & Sciences 0: Austin Layne threw a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in leading the Warriors to the Region 3-A championship game against Silverdale Baptist Academy.
Bryce Massengale was 3-for-4 and Jacob Zinson 2-for-3 for Marion (20-12).