By TREY WILLIAMS
David Crockett pitcher Matty McKee was a one-hit wonder on Senior Day.
Frequently using a rarely seen knuckleball, McKee pitched a one-hitter in the Pioneers’ 3-0 win against Dobyns-Bennett on Thursday in Jonesborough.
The Pioneers (29-6) improved to 11-0 in the Big Seven Conference.
“You grow up as a young player and you look toward this night,” McKee said, “like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is gonna be the greatest night of my life’ like it’s so far away, and then all of the sudden it’s here. It’s just so nice to have this win under our belt.
“We’ve never had an undefeated conference team. So it’d be nice. We just need one more.”
McKee struck out eight and walked none. She had a no-hitter going until Makayla Collier led off the Indians’ final frame with a sharply hit single to the opposite field. But McKee bounced back to get outs on the next three batters.
McKee learned the knuckleball from Kadey Robinson, now at Maryville College.
“I was never really good at changeups,” McKee said. “So she was like, ‘Let’s try a knuckleball.’ And I have little hands, but I dug my knuckles in and it’s paid off.”
The knuckler is hard to square up with a bat and it’s difficult to call for an umpire.
“I don’t know of anybody that throws that knuckleball,” Crockett coach Carla Weems said. “It’s nasty.”
Crockett scored all three runs in the fifth, a rally which began with a one-out walk drawn by nine-hole batter Kristen Lowery.
“She was very patient,” Weems said. “I was proud of her.”
Sydney Hodges followed with a single, setting the stage for Alyssa Suits’ RBI double off the left-field fence. Ashlyn Dulaney’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0 and Riley Hope’s single scored Suits for the third run.
Suits went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run and an RBI.
“Alyssa always comes through,” McKee said. “We’ve played together since we were four years old and she’s always been somebody you could count on when you really need a hit.”
Dobyns-Bennett coach Andy Hubbard commended McKee on her outing.
“Crockett’s pitcher did a great job,” he said. “She threw it where she needed to throw it and they hit it that one inning.”
Suits again had three hits, as did Kennedy Broyles in an 11-3 defeat of Johnson County on Friday. Broyles got the complete-game victory on the mound.
Crockett was scheduled to play Science Hill on Tuesday in a matchup that would allow it to complete what it’s believed would be its first undefeated regular season in league play.
Crocket boys finish season with 6-6 record
Hayden Osburn took one for the team on Tuesday (April 27), allowing David Crockett to finish the Big Seven Conference season with a 6-6 record thanks to a 12-11 defeat of Cherokee.
The wild and wooly affair wasn’t decided until Osburn was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th.
Osburn finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Dakota Stout and Brenden Reid each drove in three runs.
Garrett Leonard allowed no earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief for the victory on the mound. He allowed two hits, walked two and struck out four.
The Pioneers (6-6, 13-12) couldn’t muster any momentum from the dramatic triumph. They lost 8-6 at home to Elizabethton on Wednesday and fell 7-3 at Greeneville on Friday.
Stout went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs against the Cyclones. Mason Britton was 2-for-2 with two walks and Caleb Bradburn was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Britton was 1-for-3 with two RBIs at Greeneville. Bradburn was 2-for-4. Garrett Leonard was 1-for-2 with two runs, two walks and a double.
Cody Wheeley leads Crockett with nine home runs (the rest of the team has combined for three), 31 RBIs and and 31 runs.
Boone girls return with a win at Cherokee
After being quarantined for essentially two weeks, Daniel Boone’s softball team returned to defeat Cherokee, 11-1, on Thursday in Rogersville.
Emma Robinette went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs for Boone.
The ‘Blazers (7-3, 26-9) followed that with a 12-0 win against Volunteer on Monday in Gray. McKenna Dietz led off the game with a home run.
Maci Masters hit a three-run home run in the fourth, part of a 2-for-3, four-RBI day. Dannah Persinger and Camryn Sarvis also each went 2-for-3.
Maggie Hillman pitched four innings for the win.
Scrambling to complete its Big Seven schedule, Boone was scheduled to visit Tennessee High on Tuesday and before concluding the regular season at home against Science Hill on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Boone bounces back after earlier defeat
After falling from the No. 2 seed to the fourth seed with a home loss to Tennessee High on Tuesday, the Daniel Boone baseball team bounced back to defeat Morristown East 5-2 on Senior Night in Gray. Zach Zuehlke and Hagen Edwards each had two RBIs for the Trailblazers (7-5, 17-10).
A split with Tennessee High last week would’ve clinched the No. 2 seed for the District 1-AAA tournament, which begins this week. Boone was competitive in a 9-7 loss Monday in Bristol but committed six errors in a 15-4 setback Tuesday in Gray.
Brogan Jones was 2-for-3 with two runs for Boone and catcher Cole Bishop drove in two runs.
“We didn’t show up and that’s extremely disappointing,” Boone coach Scott Hagy said. “We did not show up in any shape, form or fashion. … It’s not over by any stretch. We’ll regroup.”