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Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Sale Creek head coach Jimmy Pierce takes Camden Penny's equipment after his double to jump start the Panthers.

Sale Creek players did not rush the mound or throw their gloves in the air after Monday's 13-5 District 5-A championship clinching victory over Lookout Valley.

The Panthers once again showed confidence in their ability on the diamond as Jimmy Pierce's group claimed their second straight district title with relative ease as they jumped out to a 10-o lead in front of a riled-up home crowd.

"This senior class as sophomores came one game away from making the region tournament," Pierce said. "All we had to do was beat Tellico once at our place to make it and they beat us twice that year. So we were knocking on the door. Last year our guys were really hungry and excited to win the school's first district title in 42 years. This year they felt like they had a really good team and they have played with confidence all season long."

Garrett Pickett and Camden Penny provided a big spark with their bats as each had three hits. Pickett drove in a pair of runs along with Cristian Moreno while the Sale Creek shortstop made a spectacular, run-saving leaping grab to end Lookout Valley's rally in the fifth inning.

Penny doubled along with Sam Riddle and Justin Griffin, while Javan O'Kelley's sacrifice bunt helped spark a three-run second. Lookout Valley's Jacob Winchester smacked a two-run home run in the fourth inning and drove in three runs.

Photo Gallery

Prep roundup: Sale Creek sets school record for wins with district championship

Sale Creek's Jakob Elrod was sharp on the mound striking out six over a complete game in which the only two earned runs allowed came on Winchester's homer.

"I don't think our school has ever had a team win 20 games before," said Pierce, whose team is 20-6-1. "We have done that and now won back-to-back district championships. I feel so great for all of our guys. They are good ball players and really have put in the extra work. I love seeing these guys have fun and being rewarded for their efforts. We want to take things a step further and make it to that region championship game this year."

> Silverdale Baptist 5, Boyd Buchanan 4: Senior Sebastian Hanks provided a key spark for the Seahawks as he went 2-for-2 with a double an RBI and run scored while also picking up the save in relief of the Division II-A region semifinals. Silverdale will travel to CAK for the region championship on Tuesday at 6. Silverdale's Brett Rogers also had two hits and scored a pair of runs in the win.

> Christian Academy of Knoxville 5, Notre Dame 2: The Fighting Irish scored both of their runs in the top of the first while Jacob Eargle and Alec Bouchard each went 2-for-3 and scored a run in the Division II-A region semifinal.

> Signal Mountain 10, Soddy-Daisy 4: The Eagles broke through for 18 hits in the District 6-AAA semifinal. Ben Timblin and Mason Howell both had four hits while Barret Anderson went 3-for-3. Timblin picked up the win scattering seven hits over a complete game performance in which he allowed just one earned run and struck out seven.

> Baylor 13, Knox Webb 3: Henry Ford homered twice on a three-hit day in which the Virginia baseball committment drove in five runs. Caleb Hampton and Henry Godbout also homered in the win for Baylor.

 

GHSA Class AAAA Quarterfinals

(best-of-3 series)

> Heritage 4-0, LaGrange 1-2: The Generals (23-13) and Grangers (28-9) will have to settle this series Tuesday at 4 after Heritage's Zach Barrett and LaGrange's Trevor Booton pitched gems Monday in LaGrange.

Barrett silenced the Grangers in game one on six hits, one earned run and eight strikeouts, with Johnathan Glover getting the save with a perfect seventh inning. Gage Shaver gave Barrett more than enough run support with three hits while knocking in all four of the team's runs, including a two-run homer in the first inning, an RBI single in the third and a run-scoring double in the fifth.

LaGrange's Booton had to escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning to complete the game-two shutout in which he allowed four hits and struck out eight. The Generals loaded the bases on a walk to Max Owens and singles by J.C. Armour and Landen Skeen, but Booton got out of it with a double play and strikeout to earn the split.

 

SOFTBALL

> Meigs County 4, Sweetwater 1: Lainey Fitzgerald struck out 13 batters and did not allow a walk in a complete game victory in which the Lady Tigers were given a thunderous two-out jolt from Kylee Hitson's grand slam in the bottom of the sixth while trailing 1-0.

> Lakeway Christian 5, Silverdale Baptist 4: Kennedy Stinson homered and drove in three runs for the Seahawks who fell despite leading 4-0 in the bottom of the third.

> Soddy-Daisy 5, East Hamilton 3: The Lady Trojans (30-7) broke a tie in the top of the sixth as freshman Skylar Gooden drove in a pair. Ryli Renfro had three hits and a home run in the district semifinal victory while Carissa Wilson had a pair of hits and RBIs for Soddy-Daisy.

> Bledsoe County 11, Sequatchie County 8: A four-run rally in the home half of the seventh lifted the Lady Warriors to the win. Ella Baker had three hits and five RBIs for Bledsoe and Cailyn Swafford also plated three runs.

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