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Softball: Anderson 7, SCHS 0: Bearcats’ big 4th inning dooms Rockets

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By John Herndon

Good teams will make you pay for extra outs, according to the old diamond truth.

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A Shelby County error prolonged the top of the fourth inning Monday night, and Anderson County showed why it feels it is becoming a good team.

Seven consecutive Bearcats reached base – six of them scored – in the decisive inning on their way to a 7-0 victory in a key 30th District matchup at the Shelby County athletic complex.

After the first two Anderson batters made easy outs, freshman designated player Courtney-Gale Hawkins reached on what should have been a routine ground out. It was a miscue that opened the floodgates.

Alissa Vest followed with a double that drove in pinch runner Trista Craigmyle. Madison Brummett then tripled to score vest. By the time the Bearcats were through, they had effectively put things away, scoring six unearned runs off Savannah Smeaton, Shelby’s second pitcher.

“I thought we had hit the ball pretty hard the first few innings, but we hit a lot of balls right at them,” Anderson Coach Brian Glass said. “I don't know how many hard balls we hit, but we are going to keep swinging the bats.”

Anderson had a hit in each of the first three innings and had connected on the nose three other times in the first three frames but led only 1-0 entering the decisive fourth.

“Our main problem is that we don't come out on the field with confidence knowing that we can play the game and that we can beat teams. That is what leads to our mistakes,” Shelby County Coach Kelly Cable said.

Hawkins had doubled home Marissa Walker in the second and finished with two hits. Eighth-grade catcher Bailey Curry paced Anderson with three hits, including a 2-run single in the fourth. Junior center fielder Molly Burkhead also picked up two hits for the Bearcats, who reached three Shelby pitchers for 11 hits. Six different Anderson players drove in runs.

Meanwhile, Shelby managed only leadoff singles from Sydney Wright in the first and Ariana Jones in the second before its bats went silent. The Rockets managed just two base runners – both on walks issued by reliever Mia Aldridge – and never had a runner past second base the entire game against Aldridge and starter Ally Moore, both freshmen.

Both teams move on to the rugged Capital City Classic at Franklin County this weekend, and Anderson returns to Shelbyville on Monday to play Collins in a matchup that could decide the top seeding in the 30th District Tournament.

“I didn't address before the game that this was a district game,” Glass said. “We are young and are going to have to approach every game like it is our last.

“I know Collins had some [graduation] losses from last year, but I don't really know much about them.

As for Shelby, Cable feels her team will also be in the thick of things when tournament time rolls around.

“I feel like it [the district] is pretty much anybody's to win. You can't count anybody out.”

 

Anderson Co. 7, Shelby Co. 0

ANDERSON CO.                  010                  600                  0 – 7                  11                  0

SHELBY CO.                  000                  000                  0 – 0                  2                         1

Moore, Aldridge (5) and Curry. Wright, Smeaton (4), McGuire (6) and Waits. W – Moore L – Wright. 2B – Hawkins (AC), Vest (AC).  3B – Brummett (AC). Records: Anderson Co. 7-1, 1-0 in district play; Shelby Co. 5-8, 0-1 in district play.