’Boro latest trip for well-traveled SF

’Boro latest trip for well-traveled SF

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
South Fulton has arrived at a familiar destination after a couple of detours.
The Devilettes (24-13) — who won a total of five elimination games on the road this postseason — will make their seventh state tournament appearance in head coach Curt Lee’s 15 seasons today when they face Richland (26-10-1) in the opening round of the Class 1A tournament in Murfreesboro.
SF’s latest state tourney trek has been both unconventional — as compared to their other trips — and largely unexpected.
Lee, who has compiled a sparkling 364-107-1 record (.771 winning percentage) with two third-place state finishes, a pair of fourths and two fifth-place showings, regularly starts four freshmen in a year that has seen his troops win neither the district, nor the regional tournament.
South Fulton’s 13 losses represent the highest total of any Devilette team to qualify for the state.
The team has played its best when its back was against the wall, however, winning three times to get to the 14A finals after a first-round tourney upset, then beating a 35-win Huntingdon team on the Fillies’ turf in another do-or-die game in the regional semis.
“That’s the mark of a young team — inconsistency,” said Lee, who has directed the Devilettes to 10 consecutive 20-win seasons to establish the program as a measuring stick among rural West Tennessee entries. “There have been some games where it looked like we had absolutely no clue, and others where we’ve played and executed very well.
“I guess the best thing is that the girls haven’t seemed intimidated or overwhelmed by any situation or any venue. They’ve certainly not done things the easy way, but they have us back to where we’re in a small group still playing at this time of the year.”
In the Lady Raiders, SF will reportedly be facing another stellar pitcher in Ashton Edwards, who also is one of Richland’s top hitters.
Leadoff hitter Merrianne Patterson — the team’s starting shortstop — is considered the Lady Raiders’ best all-around player.
Centerfielder Kayce Curin and catcher Taylor Parker are both also reported to be big sticks in the Richland lineup.
Today’s winner advances to play the victor of the University School (Johnson City)-Oliver Springs Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the double elimination event.
The SF-Richland loser will face the loser of that game in an elimination game Wednesday morning at 10.
University School comes in at 27-13, while Oliver Springs is 28-4.
The top half of the bracket has Gordonsville facing Trinity Christian, which eliminated Union City with a 4-1 win, and Whitwell (22-15) taking on Forrest (21-7)
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 5.21.13

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