By TREY WILLIAMS
It took 14 years materializing and required overcoming 14 runs, but Carla Weems recorded her first victory at Daniel Boone as the David Crockett softball coach.
The Pioneers’ unfathomable nine-run rally in the top of the seventh and a bases-loaded, fly-ball double-play in the bottom of the seventh forced extra innings, and Crockett clinched a dreamlike 18-14 victory with four runs in the top of the ninth.
The Pioneers (6-0, 20-4), who completed a regular season sweep of the Trailblazers, hit five home runs. Ashlyn Dulaney and Alyssa Suits each hit two home runs. Dulaney tied the score in the seventh with a three-run, two-out home run on a 3-2 count.
“I’ve never had a game like this – ever in my life,” Weems said. “I’d never beaten Boone at Boone since I’ve been coaching. Fourteen years I’ve been coaching and we’d not beaten Boone at Boone. And this is the first year that we’ve ever swept ‘em.
“It was unreal. It’s the wildest game I’ve ever coached in my life.”
Crockett prevailed despite committing nine errors. Riley Hope’s struggles compelled Weems to move her from shortstop to right field, and wouldn’t you know, Hope saved the day from her new position.
Boone’s McKenna Dietz was bunted to third base for the first out of the seventh and Weems opted to intentionally walk the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup to load the bases.
The Trailblazers’ Emma Robinette then worked the count full before hitting a fly-ball to Hope that appeared it could score the speedy Dietz, but a strong, accurate throw forced Dietz into an inning-ending pickle.
“We had nine errors in the game,” Weems said. “Our defense wasn’t spectacular until it had to be spectacular, and then it was. These girls don’t quit. They don’t give up. They’ve got so much fight in ‘em.
“I moved Riley to right field from shortstop … and she throws a line-drive home. That (double-play) was the most impressive thing, I’d have to say.
“I moved Alyssa (Suits) from center field to shortstop. They had a runner on first in the bottom of the eighth and they tried to lay down a bunt and my pitcher picks it up and slings it to second base, and Alyssa’s on second and the girl knocks Alyssa down and she hangs onto the ball to get the lead runner. It was just unreal how they played tonight.”
Hope went 4-for-6 with five RBIs. Dulaney was 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Suits was 4-for-5 with two home runs and two doubles.
Kennedy Broyles struck out seven and allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings of relief for the victory.
“Kennedy Broyles came in to pitch when it was 14-5,” Weems said, “and she did a phenomenal job to shut ‘em down.”
Boone had scored eight runs in the fifth to take a 14-5 lead.
“There was a time when I thought they were gonna run-rule us,” Weems said. “And we come back and score nine runs in the top of the seventh to tie it up. I’ve just never been a part of anything like this.”
Weems said Crockett won at Boone when she played for the Pioneers as a sophomore or junior. She doesn’t know when – or if – they’ve since won in Gray.
Crockett had to reset and play Volunteer on Tuesday and will take on Tennessee High on Thursday. A letdown seems like a legitimate concern after such a surreal victory against an archrival.
“Everybody in our conference is fighting and you can’t look over anybody,” Weems said. “We’ve gotta keep going out with that same fight we had tonight. I hope it carries over.
“They were really excited tonight. I’ve not seen ‘em that happy in a long time.”
Suits leads Crockett with nine home runs and 34 RBIs. She’s second in batting (.481) behind Ashlyn Dulaney (.500, four home runs, 24 RBIs).
Avery Hope is hitting .443 with four home runs and 21 RBIs and Riley Hope is hitting .438 with three home runs and 23 RBIs.
Kenney Broyles is 7-2 with a 2.05 ERA. Matty McKee is 6-2 with a 2.61 ERA.
Savannah Jessee and Camryn Sarvis each homered for Boone. Jessee and McKenna Dietz each drove in three runs.
Boone was coming off an impressive runner-up finish in the Eastman Invitational. It lost 6-5 to Dobyns-Bennett in the championship. Maci Masters was 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs. Freshman Kyleigh Bacon also went 2-for-2 and homered.
En route to the title game, Boone defeated Crockett, 7-2. Dietz scored three runs and Dannah Persinger drove in two.
Masters had four RBIs in a 17-2 win against Anderson County. Jessee was 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
Daniel Boone Baseball
The Daniel Boone baseball team got another gem from ace Gaven Jones on Monday, but came up short in a battle of Big Seven Conference unbeaten at Science Hill.
Jones pitched a four-hitter, but his 6-foot-6 counterpart, Evan King, tossed a one-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory for the Hilltoppers (7-0, 12-7).
Boone fell to 6-1 in the league and 10-6 overall.
Jones struck out five and walked one. He also produced the Trailblazers’ lone hit, a two-out double in the fourth.
“He’s done a tremendous job,” Boone coach Scotty Hagy said. “He competed all night. There’s no doubt about that. It was a tough-luck loss.”
Boone was coming off a 3-2 win against Sevier County on Thursday. Kaleb Worley struck out 11 and walked 3 in 5 1/3 innings of relief for the victory and plated the tying run and scored the winning run.
David Crockett Baseball
David Crockett’s baseball team lost its fourth straight with a 10-7 setback against Dobyns-Bennett on Monday. The Pioneers (3-4, 7-7) were swept last week by Science Hill, including getting no-hit by Cole Torbett, and fell 8-4 at Elizabethton on Friday.
Mason Britton went 2-for-4 with two RBIs against the Cyclones. Brenden Reid was 2-for-3.
Cody Wheeley hit a two-run home run in the loss to Dobyns-Bennett, his seventh this season. The rest of the Pioneers have combined to hit three home runs.