|UC-SF III on tap after dual triumphs |
The preliminaries are over.
Union City’s Karly Hollis throws to the plate during her team’s 2-1 triumph over Dresden Monday in District 14A softball action.
In the aftermath of Union City’s 2-1 victory over Dresden and South Fulton’s 10-0 whitewashing of Gleason Monday, UC-SF III is set for today in the winner’s bracket finals of the District 14A Softball Tournament.
At stake in the much-anticipated showdown is not only a berth in Thursday’s tourney finals but an automatic spot in next week’s Region 7A Tournament for the winner of today’s 5 p.m. game on the Devilettes’ turf. The loser will be forced into a do-or-die matchup immediately afterward, playing Gleason, with that victor moving into Thursday’s title round, where it will have to take two games from today’s Game 1 winner to claim the district championship.
If anything is to be taken from the two regular season meetings between the Lady Tornadoes (21-13) and SF (19-7), today’s game should be a doozy.
Union City won the first matchup, 4-3, with the Devilettes then taking the rematch and the regular season league championship eight days ago 2-1. That second game was marred by controversy when UC had a run taken away when a baserunner removed her helmet while still on the base paths as she celebrated a would-be game-tying home run by Karly Hollis in the fifth inning.
The two clubs also met at the same juncture last year with South Fulton first triumphing in the winner’s bracket final, 4-1, then claiming the 14A tourney championship with a 3-2 victory.
Both coaches agreed that today’s matchup is of grave significance.
“It’s the biggest game of the year because a win guarantees you a regional berth,” Union City head coach Shane Sisco said. “Nothing else that has happened until now really matters.”
SF skipper Curt Lee, who has led the Devilettes to nine region championships in the last 10 seasons and five state tournament berths during that time, echoed those comments.
“It’s the biggest game because of what’s at stake,” Lee claimed. “I expect another good game and the team to make the least number of mistakes to win.”
The following is a recap of Monday’s games.
Union City 2, Dresden 1
Hollis (15-6) got the better of Dresden’s Brooke Irvine in a pitcher’s duel, striking out 14 in an overpowering performance.
The sophomore righthander walked three and surrendered just two hits — one of those a solo home run by the Lady Lions’ Marly Mason. Dresden’s only other safety was of the infield variety in the fifth.
“She didn’t have a lot of leeway because we didn’t hit the ball very well, but Karly was just outstanding,” Sisco said afterward. “She had to focus on every batter and every pitch, and she did. She really locked them down.”
The Lady Tornadoes, who scored a run in their first at-bat but had just four hits in the game total, pushed across the deciding tally in the fifth when Corey Anne Youree slapped a run-scoring single up the middle to plate Angela Chesteen and break a 1-all tie. Heather Gillian had reached to open the inning on an error and was joined aboard by Chesteen, who walked.
Gillian was then erased on a runner’s interference on a ball hit to short by Hollis before Youree came through with the game-winner.
UC got on the board quickly when Chesteen and Hollis both singled to lead off the bottom of the first, each moving up a base on a wild pitch. A fielder’s choice grounder by Youree brought in Chesteen, but the Lady Twisters got nothing else.
Mason’s dinger in the second immediately tied the game
South Fulton 10, Gleason 0
For the second time in three days, Melissa Reams and Haley McKinney combined on a five-inning no-hitter and the Devilettes hammered Gleason.
Reams (12-2) retired 12 straight over four innings after issuing a leadoff walk before McKinney sat down three of four hitters she faced with one free pass.
The Devilettes also brought out the big sticks, striking for five runs in the second, then tacking on two more in both the third and fourth before ending the game via the 10-run rule with nobody out in the fifth.
Anna Seratt drove in SF’s first run with the first of three extra-base hits in the second for the victors. Michelle Johnson followed with her own double that plated two more runs and a run-scoring triple by eighth-grader Kaci Daughtery made it 4-0. McKinney’s sacrifice fly capped the inning.
Another eighth-grader, Marina Barclay had a fielder’s choice RBI in the third and Daughtery drove in a run with an infield hit to make it 7-0.
After getting two more runs via an error and a passed ball, respectively, Daughtery got her fourth hit — a bunt single — in the fifth with Johnson racing home from second via an overthrow at first base to bring an end to the game.
“We found some holes today and really hit the ball solid, instead of just slapping at it,” Lee added. “We hit a lot of line drives. And I thought Melissa (Reams) hit her spots well pitching and kept the ball inside like we wanted to.”
South Fulton had 10 hits in all.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.