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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Molly Mauldin (99) pitches for Lookout Valley. The Lookout Valley Yellowjackets hosted the Bledsoe County Warriors in TSSAA softball on May 3, 2022.

Bledsoe County's softball team ended its dominating regular season with an impressive 10-0 non-district win at Lookout Valley Tuesday evening.

Sophomore Ella Baker allowed just two hits and struck out four in the four-inning win and the Lady Warriors (25-1), who host a first-round district tournament game against the winner between Jackson County vs. York Insitute on Friday.

Bledsoe out-hit Lookout Valley 10-2, led by Baker and Kamry Holland, who each homered. Holland, Gracie White, Ashlyn Young and Cyla Swafford all had two hits.

"The key for this whole season has been how hard the kids worked in the offseason," said first-year coach Mary Melton, a 2006 Bledsoe County graduate. "We talked about that in the preseason that the harder they worked then, the more it would pay off once the season started and now they're seeing that pay off.

"Coaching is something I've always wanted to do, so getting to do it at home is a real blessing."

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Bledsoe County softball team caps regular season with impressive win

Bledsoe's only loss — 5-4 to Chattanooga Christian — came in during the Soddy-Daisy tournament and was the team's third game of the day. The Lady Warriors, who have five starters that are sophomores or freshmen, responded by winning their next game and reeled off nine more wins consecutively, looking to advance to the state tournament for the first time in more than a decade.

"I think we all feel pretty good about where we are now," said senior infielder Gracie White. "The one loss hit us pretty hard but we've fought back from it and stayed focused. We're super excited about what we're doing and what we could still get done.

"Everybody has pulled together this year, we've worked hard in practice and even doing some extra hitting on the weekends and we're just more close as a team, more like a family now."

> McMinn County 13, Sequoyah 10: After building a six-run lead after the first two innings, the Lady Cherokees held off a late rally for the win. Ama Grimmett had four hits and seven RBIs for McMinn County, while Cami Wade and Lexi Cooley each had three hits.

> Whitwell 8, Ooltewah 2: Maria Basham allowed just three hits, striking out eight for the win and Ava Layne drove in two runs for the Lady Tigers.

 

BASEBALL

> Sweetwater 10, Boyd Buchanan 8: A six-run sixth inning helped the Wildcats rally to force extra innings, where they went on to win. Brodie Johnston three hits for the Buccaneers, while Tucker Lorenz four RBIs for Sweetwater.

 

GHSA playoffs, second round

Class AAAA

> Northwest Whitfield 7-6, Benedictine 2-16: Northwest ace Cade Fisher allowed five hits and one earned run while striking out nine to lift the Bruins (20-15) to the game one upset in Savannah. The University of Florida commit was also 2-of-4 at the plate. Keaton McQuaig had a solo homer, with Austin Cooley and Jayden Santiago adding RBIs.

Benedictine (27-5) broke open a 4-3 game with eight runs in the fourth inning of game two, including one of Justin Thomas' two homers. Thomas ended with three hits, three RBIs and four runs scored. Cooley had two hits, one a triple, and drove in two runs for Northwest, which also received two hits and two RBIs from Will Roper.

Game three is Wednesday at 4.

> Heritage 9, Bainbridge 1: The Generals (21-12) won the opening game of Tuesday's doubleheader as ace Zach Barrett allowed one hit, no earned runs and struck out six in six innings. Cannon Stafford led off the game with a home run, one of his three hits and two RBIs.

Brady Chandler, Gage Shaver and J.C. Armour also had first-inning RBIs in the six-run opening frame.

Chandler joined Stafford with three hits, with Savier adding two hits and two RBIs. The Generals were trailing 9-7 in game two in the fourth inning at press time.

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