Usually a table setter for Soddy-Daisy's softball team, Courtney Sneed delivered a big blast in Monday's 6-1 District 5-AAA road victory over Walker Valley.
Racing up in the left-handed batter's box as part of her usual slap-hitting approach, the senior turned on a fastball on the inner half of the plate and sent it on a line over the right-centerfield fence for a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Sneed also made a diving catch in centerfield while her bunt single in the seventh sparked a pullaway four-run inning in which she was brought home on sophomore standout Tatum Massengale's double to the leftfield fence.
"When one of us gets a hit then the next one up follows and gets a rally going," said Sneed, who is 9-for-12 with five RBIs and five runs scored over her last four games. "We know we have a pitcher who can give up hardly anything to the other team. This is a dangerous team and we all feed off one another."
The Lady Trojans (13-3) responded to coach Kelsey Nunley Moore's message after losing to defending Class AAA state champion Knox Powell, 1-0, in the Clifford Kirk Memorial Tournament on Saturday.
Junior pitcher Taylor Lloyd once again showcased her shutdown ability inside the circle while she also had two of her team's 13 hits.
Lloyd's strong fastball hit both corners with consistency while she mixed in a nice changeup that also helped her get big outs. She threw 80 of her 105 pitches for strikes, allowing five hits and striking out seven.
"Taylor and all of our girls fought today," Nunley-Moore said. "We had a tough loss to Powell and I told them to learn from it and move on. They got ahead and stayed ahead today. They were hungry and played well against a very good Walker Valley softball team."
With an adjustment made to Soddy-Daisy's lineup placing Massengale and right fielder Carissa Wilson both in new roles, each delivered.
Massengale went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, while Wilson went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the seventh and also threw out a runner at second in the seventh.
Soddy-Daisy senior Hope Ingle sparked her team in the second with a leadoff double. Ingle moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Laila Pourfarzib and was brought home by a line drive single to rightfield by Jayde Baron.
Walker Valley (11-4), which finished runner-up in the Clifford Kirk Memorial Tournament, suffered a big loss when star junior pitcher Hailey Leslie had to be taken out of the game due to an injury that occured while running down the first base line in the bottom of the fourth.
The Lady Mustangs scored their lone run on a home run by Grace Martin to center in the fifth inning, which cut the deficit to 2-1. Madilyn Kidd doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth, but was stranded at third as Lloyd got a big strike out and flyout to Makayla Perez.
Martin reached base safely all three times for Walker Valley, including twice being hit by a pitch.
Pourfarzib blew the game open with a two-run RBI single to left in the seventh.
"This team has a really tight bond and we have a lot of confidence in everyone," said sophomore shortstop Tatum Massengale. "We are focused on helping each other out. Taylor was amazing again today and we finished really strong at the plate today for a big win."
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.