Central became the first high school softball team in the Chattanooga area to clinch its district regular-season championship and did so by winning 15-4 at Red Bank on Thursday.
"We're excited," Central coach LeeAnne Shurette said after the District 6-AA victory. "We're still right in the middle of our season. We just want to keep improving and get ready for postseason."
Central (12-6, 5-0) didn't put the game away until its final at-bat, scoring nine times in the seventh inning.
"Our bats are very capable," Shurette said after her team totaled 17 hits. "I was excited to see that."
Ally Welch paced the attack, going 5-for-5 and driving in four runs. Shurette said Sam Scott provided a spark with her two triples in a 3-for-5 performance, and she added two RBIs.
Alexis Grampp also was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and she was one of two Lady Purple Pounders to homer. The other was No. 9 batter Destiny Payton, who on a 3-0 pitch hit a two-run shot that tied it in the top of the second after Red Bank (5-11, 4-1) had taken a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
"That settled us back down, and from there we kind of did what we were supposed to do," Shurette said.
Winning pitcher Brooke Parrott held the Lionettes to four hits and struck out 10. Kendall Farr's double was Red Bank's only extra-base hit.
"We played six pretty good innings," said Red Bank coach Mandi Munn, whose team will be seeded second in the district tournament. "Their bats just got hot there at the end. It didn't matter what we threw. We even changed pitchers, and that didn't help.
"It's not like we made a bunch of errors. But we didn't hit their pitcher well. That's something we'll have to work on before we see them again."