Photo by Elmer Smith
Elmer Smith Grainger
RUTLEDGE – Last Monday afternoon, the Grainger High School Lady Grizzly softball team, who was undefeated in District 2-AA play, took on the West Greene Lady Buffaloes at the Grainger softball field. In the top of the first inning, a leadoff single by West Greene put a runner at first base. That runner moved to second on a passed ball before pitcher Emily Agee struck out the next batter. The third West Greene hitter hit a line drive that was snared by shortstop Ashlyn Tindell, who then stepped on second for an unassisted double play. In the bottom of the inning. leadoff hitter Tindell reached onan infield single. A Kayla Black bunt was fielded by the pitcher who threw late to second as Black reached on the fielder’s choice. That was followed by RBI singles to right by Agee and Abigail Richie for a 2-0 Grainger lead. A Kelsey Jones bunt was fielded by the pitcher whose throw to the plate was late as a third run crossed the plate. Ramsey Thomson followed with a single to right that drove in two additional runs. A single to left by Layla McAnally put runners at first and second before a force at third recorded the first out against the Lady Grizzlies. Rachel McCoy was hit by a pitch toload the bases. However, the Lady Grizzlies were unable to score additional runs as the last two outs were force outs at the plate. After a scoreless second inning, the Lady Grizzlies shut out West Greene in the top of the third inning, and the score remained 5-0. In the bottom of the inning, Ally Collins opened with a single and took second when McCoy was hit by a pitch. Tindell moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. That was followed by a walk to Agee before a fielder’s choice scored a run. Richie hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate a second run and push the Lady Grizzly lead to 7-0. The Lady Buffaloes got a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Grainger lead to 7-2. In the bottom of the inning, Thomson walked and eventually scored on singles by Collins and McCoy to send the game to the fifth inning with Grainger holding an 8-2 lead. In the top of the inning, West Greene added three runs on three singles, a stolen base and a passed ball to cut the Lady Grizzly lead to 8-5. However, that was as close as they would get as Agee struck out four of the final six batters topreserve the 8-5 victory. Agee, who is only a freshman, racked up her 150th strikeout in the 107 innings she has pitched toset a new single season strikeout record for the Lady Grizzlies. “Not being able to get runners inis the story of the last few games we’ve played,” said head coach Rusty Bishop. “We can’t get anyone to get a hit with the bases loaded or runners onsecond and third. Like I told them when it was over, good teams do the little things well, and wewere not a very good team at doing that today. However, its a district win, and we’re undefeated at 5-0. Even though the score was a little closer than it should have been, its a win. We’ll play them tomorrow and try to get another one.”The victory boosted the Lady Grizzlies’ overall record to 17-10 and 5-0 in the district. Grainger will beat home tomorrow, Thursday, when they take on South Greene.