Lady Blazers claim another regular season championship
By Christopher ShieldsOver the past several softball seasons in the Big 8 Conference, there has been Daniel Boone High School and then everyone else.
The Lady Blazers (30-4, 14-0) have won 31 straight conference contests and will once again enter the district tournament at Tennessee High on May 4 as the Big 8’s top seed.
The Lady Pioneers of David Crockett High School (15-16, 8-6) concluded their conference schedule with a strong fourth place finish, just a game back from Dobyns-Bennett.
CROCKETT giveS up lead to HILLTOPPERS
After opening the week on April 22 with a 10-6 win over Happy Valley, the Lady Pioneers concluded their Big 8 slate with contests against Sullivan South and Science Hill.
Crockett would need both wins to give themselves a chance to finish third in the conference.
The Lady Pioneers hosted South on April 23 and checked off their first must-win game with a 9-3 victory.
Madison Grindstaff was strong in the circle, allowing just three hits and Jackie Lloyd had two RBIs in the win.
On April 25, Science Hill traveled to Jonesborough for a matchup against the Lady Pioneers.
The Hilltoppers struck first with a run in the second inning, but Crockett starter Haley Grindstaff regained her composure and limited the Science Hill bats through the next three innings.
After trailing 1-0 for much of the contest, the Pioneer bats came alive in the home half of the fifth, with three runs to capture the lead.
The sixth inning would prove to be Crockett’s undoing. Errors in the field and struggles in the circle mixed with the Science Hill bats contributed to five runs.
Crockett pushed two across the plate in the bottom of the inning, but another Science Hill run in the seventh put the Lady Pioneers down 7-5. Crockett couldn’t rally in the final frame, falling 7-5.
Lloyd once again swung a hot bat, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Madison Tarlton got on base three times and score twice.
The loss pushed the Lady Pioneers to fourth in the conference.
Lady Blazers finish
14-0 In conference
The Lady Blazers once again are in top form heading into the postseason.
Boone capped off their regular season conference schedule with contests against Tennessee High and Sullivan Central.
The Lady Blazers honored three seniors, Kayla Sanders, Allison Sheffey and Jenna Carmody before their April 23 contest in Gray.
Freshman Jaclyn Jenkins allowed just three hits in the circle and an unearned run. She was also effective with her bat, finishing with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Boone scored three runs in the first, two in the second and added two in the fourth. A six-run fifth inning ended the contest early, with the Lady Blazers on top 13-1.
The contest ended in the explosive inning after a Haley Wagner walk-off grand slam.
Boone capped off their perfect conference record on April 25 with a 14-0 at Sullivan Central.
The Lady Blazers will conclude the regular season with out of conference contests on April 29-30 against Unicoi County.