Rain delays, postponements define week for softball, baseball
By Chris Shields
Weather postponed a majority of contests over several days around the area, with the teams from Crockett and Boone having a combined six games pushed back.
The biggest cancellation occurred on March 18 as the baseball Blazers and Pioneers rivalry meeting was rescheduled until April 3 due to rain.
Grindstaff leads Lady Pioneers
After rain postponed the Lady Pioneers’ first contest of the week on March 18, Crockett returned to action at Volunteer on March 19.
The Lady Falcons opened the home half of the first inning by collecting five hits and pushing three runs across the plate to capture an early lead.
The Lady Pioneers struck in the top of the third for two runs on an RBI triple from Madison Tarlton and an RBI single from Madison Grindstaff.
Despite cutting into the lead, the Lady Pioneers wouldn’t score again as Volunteer sealed its victory with two more runs in the sixth inning, winning 5-2.
The Lady Pioneers returned to action in Jonesborough for a March 21 conference contest against Sullivan Central.
This time, Grindstaff was stellar in the circle. The sophomore allowed just one hit, no runs and struck out 12 in a shortened five-inning 11-0 Pioneers win.
Crockett scored three runs in the first, five in the second and three in the third.
Jackie Lloyd propelled the Pioneer offense with a first inning home run. She collected two hits in the contest.
week with a win
The Pioneers expected to open the week with a rivalry matchup against Boone on March 18.
After weather postponed the contest, Crockett’s week began a day later in Jonesborough against conference foe Tennessee High.
Crockett could never get the bats going and Tennessee High supplied plenty of offense in a big win.
Tennesee High pitcher Mitch Tophel pitched a no-hitter in the 10-0 loss for Crockett.
On March 20, the Pioneers hit the road for their second conference contest in two days, this time against the talented Rebels of Sullivan South.
The Pioneers struck first in the top of the first inning for a run, but South responded in the home half with a run of their own to tie the game at 1-1.
South plated another run in the second and six runs in the third.
While the Pioneers showed some fight in the top of the fourth by scoring four runs, they could never reclaim the lead, eventually falling 9-5.
Crockett’s John Long had the best day at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.
After having their March 21 contest against Unaka pushed back a day, the Pioneers salvaged the week with a 9-8 extra-innings win.
The Pioneers jumped out early in the contest by scoring six runs in the first inning, but Unaka would fight back to tie the contest in the top of the seventh, 8-8.
The Pioneers reclaimed the lead and the win in the bottom of the eighth inning after Zach Shell’s sacrifice fly brought home Long.
Long finished the contest 3-for-4, scoring the winning run and hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
RECORD more wins
Rain wreaked havoc on the Boone softball schedule last week.
The Lady Blazers had their contest against Tennessee High pushed back two days and their contest against Science Hill postponed for the week.
Still, the Lady Blazers managed to keep their winning streak going by capturing two conference contests.
After defeating Sullivan Central 13-2 to open the week, the Lady Blazers met Tennessee High in Bristol on March 20.
McKenzie Ferguson, who was injured to open the season for Boone, started in the circle and was spectacular.
The junior shut down the Tennessee High offense, holding them to just one hit and without a run.
Boone scored two runs in the first and two more in the second.
After a scoreless third, the Lady Blazers added two runs in the fourth and six runs in the fifth to close the contest early in a 12-0 win.
The Lady Blazers hit four home runs in the game.
Kaylin Conkin hit two solo home runs, one in the second and one in the fourth, she finished 3-for-3 at the plate.
Kayla Sanders hit a two-run home run in the first inning and finished with three hits and three RBIs.
Jenna Carmody opened the second inning with a home run.
Blazers score 31 against Central
In their first contest of the week, against Sullivan Central, the Blazer bats erupted for 31 runs, an absurd amount of offense rarely seen at any level of baseball.
The Boone bats opened the first inning by scoring 11 runs, they added six in the second, four in the third and 10 in the fourth.
The 31 runs were scored on 22 hits, four home runs and two grand slams.
Daniel Cox who earned the win for the Blazers, limited Central to no runs and only one hit.
Cox finished 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
Andrew Street led the Boone bats with six RBIs in the contest.
After their contest against Cherokee was postponed, the Boone bats couldn’t carry over to Saturday’s matchup against Morristown West.
The Blazers fell in the contest 5-2.