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Satisfied Devilette skipper Lee hopes Lady Luck sticks it out

Satisfied Devilette skipper Lee hopes Lady Luck sticks it out
Satisfied Devilette skipper Lee hopes Lady Luck sticks it out

Curt Lee rallies his troops prior to the seventh inning of South Fulton’s Wednesday win.
MURFREESBORO — Curt Lee was looking for wood — any piece of the hard stuff — to knock on while assessing his team’s current standing going into tonight’s winner’s bracket final of the Class A State Tournament vs. Chattanooga Grace Academy.
“Everything’s gone as well as we could’ve hoped, so far,” the South Fulton head coach said after his team rallied to beat Forrest 5-2 in second round play Wednesday. “We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Even in the face of adversity when the Devilettes uncommonly fell apart defensively in the early-going vs. the Lady Rockets, they were presented multiple golden opportunties to redeem themselves when Forrest completely unraveled in the bottom of the fifth with five errors that made each of SF’s runs unearned.
“You make your own luck sometimes, I believe, but we’ve been fortunate in a couple of situations where we’ve been the beneficiaries of good fortune,” Lee said. “We got a good blind draw, and I think TCA losing in that first round was big in that we haven’t had to face what most people thought was the odds-on favorite to win coming in.
“We’ve helped ourselves, too, though, by winning the district and regional and getting to play at home in some important tournament games — including the sectional. And no doubt that us winning our first two games up here has allowed us to stay in a routine, to be able to play in the late afternoon or evening like we have all year and to stay out of the loser’s bracket, where you’ll eventually have to play more than one game a day and really tax your pitching staff.”
With already no worse than a third-place finish secured — a standing that will match the best in program history — the coach is convinced his troops will need more than good fortune to carve its own special niche in the program’s annals.
“The girls have been asked: ‘How do you want to be remembered? Are you satisfied with what we’ve done so far, or do you want to be in a class all by yourself?’” Lee said.
A little luck is still always welcome.
SET THE TABLE — Leadoff hitter Kacie Daugherty has been the prototypical table-setter for many big South Fulton innings this season.
Daugherty, a “slap-hitter” extraordinaire, leads the Devilettes in a variety of offensive categories from her No. 1 hole in the SF batting order.
She has a team-best 45 hits after going 3-for-4 in Tuesday’s win over University School of Johnson City, and has scored 48 runs after crossing the plate once Wednesday vs. Forrest — both tops on the club. Forty-four of her 45 hits have been singles.
Perhaps Daugherty’s most impressive statistic is a base-running record that has seen her go 37-for-37 in stolen base attempts, according to seasonal statistics compiled by Lee.
“When she’s getting on and putting pressure on opposing defenses with her baserunning, she really makes us go,” her coach confirmed. “Most all really good teams have somebody at the top of the lineup who can manufacture runs and create opportunities without hitting for power or extra bases.
“Kacie’s been really successful in that role for us in most all of our big games.”
DID YOU KNOW? — Devilettes centerfielder Katie Bivens, a starter since the beginning of her eighth-grade season, has been a part of 132 victories during her prep softball career. Bivens saw limited time at shortstop earlier in her SF playing days, but has been solely an outfielder the past couple of seasons. She’s tied for the team lead with five assisted putouts, and made just four errors all season. …. South Fulton shortstop Kayla Davidson was sporting a bandage on her knee after being taken out via a hard slide at second base on a game-ending doubleplay Wednesday against Forrest. Davidson is expected to be fine for tonight’s winner’s bracket final. … Chattanooga Grace Academy is making just its second-ever appearance in the state tournament. The Lady Golden Eagles went 2-2 against last year’s 1A field.

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