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Lady Rockets fall 4-0 in title game - Anderson's hot first inning takes title

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By Todd Martin

The Lady Rocket softball played Anderson County for the sixth time, with the final one Thursday in the 8th Region championship game. The Lady Rockets got two during the regular season, but Anderson completed the postseason sweep with a 4-0 win to claim the 8th Region Championship, just a week after topping the Lady Rockets 1-0 in the 30th District title game.

The Lady Bearcats got all the work done early, putting up four runs on five straight hits in the first inning.

"They just hit the ball," SCHS head coach Kelly Cable said. "They found the gaps and the holes. We had a few miscues, but they didn't cost us. They just hit, and hit well."

The Lady Rockets' pitching and defense calmed down after the first, and Anderson got just two hits the rest of the way.

Shelby, however, struggled at the plate. The Lady Rockets had 21 hits in the first two region games, but didn't manage one hit until the fourth inning and had just four all game.

"We hit the ball hard, but it was just right at people all night," Cable said. "We couldn't catch a break or find a hole."

The Lady Rockets had two good scoring opportunities. The first came in the fourth inning when Haleigh LeCompte started things with a one-out infield single and Jessica Williams followed with a bloop-single to center. But with runners on first and second and just one out, the Lady Rockets couldn't capitalize.

Then in the seventh, the Lady Rockets finally got the leadoff runner on when Shauna Gramig was hit by a pitch, and Taylor Shaw followed with a single. But with runners at first and second, the Lady Rockets couldn't come up with a hit.

"We had a good shot there, but again, we just couldn't find a hole," Cable said. "I thought we hit the ball strong all night, we sent some balls deep in the outfield, but we just couldn't get a ball to drop."

Despite the loss, Cable said her players have no reason to hang their heads.

"Overall, the girls should be proud of what we accomplished this year," she said. "We were plagued with injuries, but when one girl went down another one stepped right up and played well."

The girls lose just one player for next season, but it's a big one in third baseman Jessica Williams. But Cable said her team should be strong again.

"No doubt we can be right back here next year," she said. "All we're going to do is get one year older and one year better. We lose a big stick and a great defender in Jessica, but there's no doubt in my mind that somebody will step up and fill her role."

All-tourney

Three Lady Rockets -- Shauna Gramig, Taylor Shaw and Jessica Williams -- were named to the 8th Region All-Tournament team.