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Lady Chargers show life late, but deficit too great

Lady Chargers show life late, but deficit too great
Lady Chargers show life late, but deficit too great | Westview Lady Chargers, Katelyn Bowen, WHS head coach JB Suiter, Covington, Autumn Glenn, Gabby Glenn, Jenna Hazelwood, Region 7-AA Tournament

Home Run Trot — Westview’s Katelyn Bowen (right) is greeted with a high five from Lady Charger head coach JB Suiter as she rounds third base after blasting a home run over the center field fence during their team’s 7-3 loss to host Covington.
It took the Westview Lady Chargers a while to start clicking but by then it was too late in a 7-3 loss to the host Covington Lady Chargers in the Region 7-AA Softball Tournament championship game on Wednesday night.
As a result of the loss, the Westview girls must now travel to Memphis to take on the host Carver Lady Cobras in must-win Sectional play on Friday. Carver was a 24-11 winner over Frayser in the Region 8-AA title game. Covington will entertain Frayser in its Sectional. The winners on Friday will advance to the TSSAA Spring Fling state championships starting next Tuesday in Murfreesboro.
“We had them rattled. We’ve played them 19 innings this season, and we’ve dominated 13 of them. I think they (Covington) are the best team in the state. They’re 45-1, but we’re a threat to them, and we haven’t shown them our complete game yet,” Westview head coach JB Suiter said after his team put three late runs on the board and had two runners on base when the final out was recorded in the region final loss.
It was the host Covington bats that were alive immediately, but the girls from Weakley County gathered themselves and put up a challenge that carried on until the last out was recorded. WHS (26-14) had a runner in every inning and all but two of the starters reached base in the game.
Facing Covington for the third time in 11 days, Suiter called on freshman left-hander Meagan Prince, who missed significant playing time this season due to a hand injury, to take the mound.
After WHS had Kayla Guthrie reach on a walk but get erased on a line drive double play in the first inning, Covington had its first turn at the plate. The host team immediately went to work. CHS leadoff batter Autumn Glenn roped a solo home run to center. The first five Covington batters reached base via either a hit or a walk. Gabby Glenn smacked a three-run homer to left to boost the home team’s lead to 4-0 before Prince retired three in a row on two fly outs and strikeout to strand a runner.
In the Westview half of the second, Ashley Bynum and Shaylon Robb drew back-to-back walks, but Autumn Glenn — the Covington starter — retired three in a row to keep WHS off the scoreboard.
CJ Browder singled in the Covington half of the second, but was called out for leaving the base early to end the inning with Covington still in front, 4-0.
After Autumn Glenn struck out a pair of WHS batters to start the third, Guthrie reached on an error and Jenna Hazelwood walked, but a fly out ended the Westview at-bat.
Covington added to its lead on Bailey Morgan’s three-run homer in the third for a 7-0 advantage. Following the blast, Suiter called on senior Shanna Chappell to take the mound. The Bryan College signee gave up a walk and a single, but worked out of the jam.
After a scoreless fourth inning that included a single by Katelyn Bowen for WHS, the Lady Chargers of Westview broke through in the fifth. Chappell drew a leadoff walk. Courtesy runner Maddison Henderson raced all the way from first to home on Kelly Gaston’s triple to the gap in left center. Gaston scored the second WHS run on a passed ball to trim their deficit to five runs at 7-2.
Westview added its last run in the sixth when Bowen smashed a solo homer just off the glove of center fielder Gabby Glenn and over the fence.
“Bowen has been great lately. She’s my ideal hitter,” Suiter noted.
Chappell doubled and Guthrie singled in the seventh, but Covington stranded two of the seven total Westview runners left on base in the 7-3 loss.
“We got down 7-0 and easily could have said ‘They’ll run rule us today,’ but we didn’t,” Suiter said.

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