Cooling off: Farragut rallies past Headrick, Heritage
By Austin Bornheim | (email@example.com)
With the sun setting and the temperature dropping, the Farragut softball team began to heat up.
The Admirals (1-0) entered the top of the seventh trailing the Heritage Lady Mountaineers, 5-2, and exploded for four runs in the final frame to take a 6-5 lead. Farragut would hold on to win by the same score.
“It was a huge comeback for us,” Farragut head coach David Moore. “We just got some huge hits that we needed in the seventh.”
Tori Etheridge reached base on a dropped fly ball to lead off the inning. Avery Blankenship followed Etheridge with a single and after a fly out to center field, cleanup hitter Mary Claire Coyne stepped to the plate.
In her first high school game, the freshman smacked a line drive down the first baseline that bounded into the corner of the fence. Coyne trotted into third with a two-run triple, bringing her team within one.
“Tori (Etheridge) with some senior leadership starting us off, then Avery (Blankenship) gets a hit and Mary Claire is just a freshman and that’s a big hit in her first high school ballgame to give us a chance,” Moore said.
Clinging to a one-run lead, Heritage (0-1) pitcher Allison Headrick bounced back to retire Farragut left fielder Shelby Miller. It was then another freshman, Madison Etters’ turn to bat.
With the Lady Admirals’ down to their final out and final strike, Etters’ poked a soft line drive up the middle to plate the game-tying run.
“Madison came through with a big hit at the end,” Moore said. “I’m just proud of all of them.”
A second Heritage error allowed Farragut to send the go ahead run to the plate, but The Lady Mountaineers elected to go to third to throw out Sarah Jackson. Heritage was successful in getting Jackson, but not before the fourth and final run of the inning crossed the plate for the Lady Admirals.
Fatigue might have played a factor in the Lady Admirals’ ability to comeback, according to Heritage head coach Jeff Sherman.
“She started missing her spots, lost some velocity and after four at bats they’re going to start figuring out what you’re doing to them then,” Sherman said of Headrick.
Farragut pitcher Sierra Sims was able to retire the Lady Mountaineers in order in the bottom of the seventh to give her team the opening day win.
“I’m proud of Sierra pitching and kind of gutting it out after giving up the five runs, and making some big pitches,” Moore said.
Sims struggled early, surrendering five runs, five hits and two walks during the third inning, giving Heritage the early 5-1 advantage.
But Sims, who is coming off a stress fracture in her back during the offseason, allowed just two hits the remainder of the game.
“I just kept on throwing and it worked out in the next couple of innings,” Sims said.
The Lady Mountaineers’ had their chances, though, with a runner on in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
“We got a lead and kind of let them creep in,” Sherman said. “We got five runs in one inning, but didn’t get anything after that.”