|Lady Charger offense lacks punch in finale |
|Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 10:52 am |
The Westview Lady Chargers struggled to get runners on base and never sent one across home plate in a 2-0 loss to the Chattanooga Central Lady Pounders at Spring Fling’s Class AA state tourney on Thursday in Murfreesboro.
Walk the line — The Westview Lady Chargers offer congratulations to the Chattanooga Central Lady Pounders following their season-ending 2-0 loss at Spring Fling on Thursday in Murfreesboro. The game ended Westview’s season with a record of 29-16.
“In these games, it’s gonna take one (big hit). The first one to break across is usually the difference in the game,” Westview head coach J.B. Suiter said.
It was the Lady Pounders who got the one big hit. Chattanooga Central shortstop Shelby Evans broke a scoreless tie with a two-run smash over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning to provide the winning runs.
The Lady Chargers managed only four base runners in the entire contest against Chattanooga Central starting pitcher Shelby Willard.
Willard gave up three hits and walked a batter while striking out 10 Lady Chargers over six innings.
“(Willard) did a good job of keeping the ball on the outside part of the plate and making us chase. We never really adjusted to it,” Suiter noted.
Westview pitcher Shaylon Robb turned in a solid effort too, allowing only four hits while striking out seven and walking none.
“It was great, except for a tough pitch the kid hit. But that’s how it goes,” Suiter said. “Again, that’s two games in a row where in a key situation maybe we’ve let a kid get the best of us, especially when we’re up in the count 1-and-2.”
After giving up a two-out double to deep center to Sara Walker in the bottom of the first, Robb stranded the runner at second.
The Lady Chargers got a leadoff single from Ashley Bynum through shortstop to open the second inning. Robb reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Mckenzie Norris. Robb moved a base away from home plate on a wild pitch, but a line drive out to center field ended the threat.
The Pounders added another two-out double by Brooke Womack in the bottom of the third, but again, Robb came through, this time with a strikeout.
Jenna Hazelwood drew a one-out walk in the WHS half of the fourth and stole second, but got no closer to home plate when Robb’s line drive was snagged by the CCHS third baseman.
Lady Charger left fielder Alex Hughey answered with a great diving catch on a soft liner in left field in the Pounder half of the fourth inning.
“That was a great play by Alex. She’s athletic enough to play just about anywhere. We gave her the opportunity, and she stepped up and made a great play out there for us,” the WHS head coach said.
A mental error and a throwing error allowed Central’s Jade Stoker to reach leading off the bottom of the fifth, but after a sac bunt, Robb recorded two more strikeouts to keep the game scoreless.
Westview freshman Kayla Guthrie slapped a two-out double in the top of the sixth, but Willard notched her third strikeout in the inning to strand Guthrie.
Then came the fateful at-bat. Hannah Powell knocked a one-out single to the gap in right before Walker homered.
A ground-breaking chapter in Westview Lady Charger softball ended. With the loss, the high school softball careers of four Westview seniors came to a close. The Lady Charger quartet — Ashley Bynum, Jenna Hazelwood, Kelly Gaston and Shanna Chappell — was instrumental in helping Westview earn four consecutive trips to Spring Fling. Over those four years, Westview compiled a record of 127-57 overall and 3-8 at the state tourney.
“We’re going to miss all four of our seniors. They’ve set a lot of records for us and played in pretty much every game. Not many teams can say they’ve got a group of kids that’s been to the state tournament four years in a row,” Suiter said.