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Baseball, softball seasons begin for Crockett, Boone

With winter weather finally vacating the region, replaced by longer days and warmer temperatures, the sports season at David Crockett and Daniel Boone have followed suit, shifting from inside to out.
Yes, baseball and softball season has arrived in the Tri-Cities, bringing with them a fresh start and new goals and aspirations for teams vying for improvement or continued success.
The baseball Pioneers opened their 2015 schedule on March 9 in Blountville against conference foe Sullivan Central.
With Cole Casey on the mound, Crockett had no trouble getting their first win of the season.
The senior right hander was lights out, no-hitting Central in a shortened contest, 14-0.
Crockett continued their hot start a night later, recording their second run-rule win in as many tries by defeating Tennessee High 13-1 in the Pioneers home opener.
On March 12, the Pioneers returned to the diamond to pick up their third straight win after defeating Chuckey-Doak, 5-2.
The 3-0 start to the regular season already promises improvement in 2015, following the Pioneers 13-20 record last year.
The Blazers also opened their 2015 baseball campaign last week with similar results.
After rain forced a cancellation against Science Hill on March 9, the Blazers captured a win a day later in their home opener against Sullivan Central.
The Blazers defeated Central 5-1 behind a Brandon Davis and Dean Malenda two-hit performance.
Boone would drop their second and final contest of the week to Unicoi County, 3-2.
The softball season also got underway last week for the Lady Blazers and Lady Pioneers.
Following the retirement of longtime Blazer Coach Rick Wagner at the end of last season, Boone opened 2015 under the direction of new Head Coach Jeremy Jenkins.
It was a disappointing debut for last season’s conference tournament champions on March 9 in Gray after a 7-6 loss to Tennessee High.
After the Blazers built a 3-2 lead through the first six innings, Tennessee High would score five runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead and the win despite a late three-run Boone rally in the home-half of the inning.
Kaylin Conkin led the Blazers at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the contest.
Rain cancelled the highly anticipated matchup between the Blazers and Volunteer, after the Lady Falcons finished first in the Big 7 during the regular season before Boone bounced back to capture the conference championship in 2014.
The contest was originally scheduled for March 10. No makeup date has been announced.
In Jonesborough, the Lady Pioneers opened 2015 hoping to build on the success of last season where they advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
The Lady Pioneers traveled to Kingsport on March 10 to open their season against Dobyns-Bennett.
Despite struggling to muster much offense off of D-B pitcher Marissa Honeycutt, the Lady Pioneers captured a 1-0 win behind the tremendous pitching performance of Haley Grindstaff.
Grindstaff held the Lady Indians to just three hits over seven innings in the circle to record the shutout.
Although Crockett managed just six hits, a Maddie Tarlton triple in the third inning proved to be the decisive run needed for Crockett to capture the contest after Sam Fox drove her home later in the inning.