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Lady Pioneers—Blazers fall short at Eastman Invitational

The Lady Blazers and Lady Pioneers joined fellow Big 7 teams as well as those throughout the state last week at the Eastman Invitational for the area’s biggest softball tournament.
The Lady Blazers, who have captured several Eastman championships over the years, opened play in Kingsport on April 9 in the seeding round of the invitational with a 5-4 win over University High.
The wins kept coming on the second day of the event as Boone captured a 2-0 victory over Morristown West and 4-2 win over Union County.
Boone notched two more wins in the start of the day on April 11, beating Oak Ridge 11-0 and outlasting Unaka, 5-4.
The strong performance over the past three days allotted the Lady Blazers a spot in the round of 16 as a five seed.
They concluded Saturday’s play in the first round of 16 with a 3-2 win over conference foe Volunteer.
The Lady Pioneers of David Crockett would join Boone in the round of 16 after doing just enough on the first three days of the event to sneak in.
The Lady Pioneers split contests on the first day of the Invitational, falling to Unicoi County 7-5, but bounced back later in the day with an 11-1 win over University.
They would also split contests in the second day of the event falling to University Heights 3-2 before capturing a big win over Sullivan North 11-1.
Crockett would again split contests on day three prior to the round of 16 winning 6-2 over Granger County before falling to South Doyle 3-2.
The Lady Pioneers would enter the round of 16 as the 14 seed, but would go on to beat the three-seed Powell High School to advance to the championship Sunday and join the Lady Blazers as two of just eight teams vying for the Eastman Championship.
On April 12, the Lady Pioneers would open the day with a quarterfinals win over Dobyns-Bennett before falling in the semifinals.
The Lady Pioneers would conclude their stellar tournament run in the third-place contest against Knoxville Halls.
Crockett narrowly missed capturing third place when, after leading the contest until the seventh inning and just one out away from a victory, Halls smacked a two-run homerun to give them a 4-3 victory.
The Lady Pioneers would finish fourth.