In-school rivalry: William Blount knocks out Heritage with big third inning
By Grant Ramey | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
William Blount and Heritage had more than a cross-county softball rivalry in common Wednesday afternoon.
The two team’s meeting for their annual in-school afternoon game meant quick turnarounds from dramatic district wins the night before. For Heritage, it was a walk-off bunt on a Bearden error in extra innings. For William Blount, it was a go-ahead run in the top of the seventh in a win over Farragut.
Still riding those emotional highs, both teams traded early blows Wednesday before the Lady Govs delivered the knock out punch.
William Blount put up a six-run third inning, highlighted by Montana Coffey’s three-run home run, to break open the game en route to an 11-5 win.
“It was huge,” Leatherwood said of the inning. “I was worried, both of us on a high, who was going to get that game. And especially after that inning, were we going to fight back? And the girls absolutey did.
“They have absolutely stepped up to the plate.”
Natalie Payne reached on an error to start the explosive third for WB, followed by singles from Ashlyn Curtis and Miranda Laugherty.
Kenna Boling gave the Lady Govs a 4-3 lead in the next at-bat with a two-run double before Coffey blasted her first career home run over the center field fence to build the lead to four runs.
“She’s a power hitter,” Leatherwood said of Coffey. “Montana doesn’t strike out very much, she makes contact.”
Kasey Miller, who got the win in the circle for William Blount (10-6, 5-3 District 4-AAA), was hit by a pitch and later came around to score on a Jennifer Houser sacrifice fly, the Lady Govs’ first out of the inning after eight batters had went to the plate.
“That kind of put us on our heels,” Heritage coach Jeff Sherman said of the third inning. “But that’s how it goes.”
Heritage erased an early two-run deficit with three runs in the top of the third.
Logan Frazier singled and McKenzie Sherman doubled before Heritage (5-6, 4-5) got back-to-back RBIs from Harley Frazier, who reached on a fielders’ choice, and Taylor Edwards, who singled.
Lindsey LaGrange singled to drive in Harley Frazier later in the inning to give Heritage a 3-2 lead.
William Blount took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, with Boling and Miller coming around to score. Boling reached on a leadoff single. Miller struck out, but made it safely to first on a third-strike past ball.
Allison Headrick, who repalced Logan Frazier after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third, took the loss in the circle for Heritage. Freshman Erin Hill replaced Miller to start the fourth for William Blount, scattering six hits and giving up just one run over four innings of relief.
“Erin’s done a really nice job accepting her role of coming in after Kasey,” Leatherwood said. “I can put her in with two outs; I can put her in with zero outs; I can put her in when we’re up. She’s earned my trust at this point.
“She has really proven herself. She’s playing above her years.”
Angela Galyon singled and scored in the top of the seventh for Heritage.
“We’ve had a lot of emotional games recently, one-run games, extra innings,” Jeff Sherman said. “We came out today and let some things flatten us out a little bit, (had) some tough calls.
“Give William Blount credit, they’re a good ball team. They hit the ball well and they took us out of the game.”