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Boone falls to Soddy-Daisy in state championship

Entering the 2012 softball season, the Lady Blazers of Daniel Boone were expected to be one of the area’s best teams. As it turned out, they happened to be one of the state’s best.
Led by six seniors, the Lady Blazers season came to a close on May 26 in Murfreesboro during the final game of the state tournament, with a 7-0 loss to Soddy-Daisy.
The loss marked the end of a fantastic season for Boone, who finished the year with a 50-6 overall record.
Boone began their championship pursuit on May 22, opening the tournament with a 2-0 loss at the hands of Soddy-Daisy and ace pitcher, Kelsey Nunley, a University of Kentucky signee.
The loss dropped the Lady Blazers to the consolation bracket of the tournament, forcing them to fight to stay alive. Experience and determination won the week, as Boone responded by running the tables all the way back to the championship bracket.
They knocked Mt. Juliet off 4-3 to claim their first win of the week on May 23 and continued to surge a day later against Beech High School, coming out on top 2-1.
Boone captured their second win of the day, later in the evening with an 11-5 victory over Arlington. The offensive outburst helped Boone advance to the final three in the tournament.
With just a game separating Boone from Soddy-Daisy, the Lady Blazers made sure a rematch would take place by downing Coffee County 7-1 on May 25. In the contest, Boone used a six-run third inning to propel themselves to the championship.
The win set up a rematch against Soddy-Daisy and for the Blazers to claim the state title, they would have to beat the eight-time state champion twice in just two days.
The Lady Trojans won their most recent state championships in 2006, 2007 and 2010. The softball powerhouse put together 46 wins on the season and had shown no signs of slowing down all week.
But the Lady Blazers were ready, opening the first game of the championship just a few hours after defeating Coffee County.
Boone elected to start Kellie Waycaster in the circle and the senior came through, giving up just one run before being replaced with an out in the fifth by McKenize Ferguson. The Lady Blazers trailed 1-0 after three innings, but tied the game in the top of the fourth when Jessie Wheelock crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly.
An inning later, Boone seized the lead when Kayla Smith opened the order with a homerun to push the Blazers ahead 2-1. Ferguson took care of business after, shutting down the Trojan bats for a 2-1 Blazer win.
The victory forced a final game between the two teams, held a day later, with the winner grabbing a state championship crown.
The May 25 contest once again pitted starting pitchers Waycaster and Nunley against one another.
This time around, Boone showed the fatigue of a team playing their seventh game in five days. Waycaster couldn’t pitch past the Trojan bats, allowing three runs in the second inning to give S-D an early cushion.
On the other side, Nunley was dominant, silencing the Boone bats. In the contest, she allowed just one hit, a first inning Wheelock infield single.
After a scoreless third, the Lady Trojans all but ended it in the fourth, pushing across four runners to grab a commanding 7-0 lead. Ferguson relieved Waycaster in the inning, but the Boone bats could never find an answer for the UK signee, as Soddy-Daisy went on to capture the win, 7-0.
While the Lady Blazers came up just a win shy of bringing home the state title, the 2012 campaign will be one that isn’t soon forgotten and will be a tough task to duplicate going forward.
The Lady Blazers 50 wins set a school record, just one of several throughout their magical season.