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May 24, 2017

The Grainger High School Lady Grizzlies won the District 2-AA championship.

Courtesy photo

Lady Grizzlies win District 2-AA championship

Elmer Smith Grainger Today Correspondent TAZEWELL – The Grainger High School Lady Grizzlies enjoyed an undefeated run to claim the tournament championship in last week’s District 2-AA softball tournament, played Monday through Thursday at Claiborne High School. The Lady Grizzlies, the number one seed in the tournament, opened play against the Lady Knights of Chuckey-Doak, who had won a first-round game in their first game in the tournament. In this game, Grainger second baseman Kayla Black’s one-out single and an error put the go-ahead run at second base. That was followed by a single from Abigail Richie to give the Lady Grizzlies an early 1-0 lead. A single by Kelsey Jones, a passed ball and a stolen base by Jones put runners at second and third, but the Grizzlies were unable to push any additional runs across the plate. Grainger added an additional score in the third on a leadoff double by Emily Agee, who was sacrificed to third on a bunt by Black before Richie’s sacrifice fly to center upped the lead to 2-0.In the third, a one-out single by Courtney Williams was followed by a single from Rachel McCoy and a two-out RBI single by Ashlyn Tindell to push the lead to 4-0.That would prove tobe more than enough runs to win the game as Agee retired the first 13 batters in order before allowing a base runner. She then recorded two strikeouts to end the Lady Knight’s fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Black led off with a bunt single and moved to second as Richie reached base onan error by the third baseman. Jones then reached on a fielder’s choice before a single by Williams and a sacrifice by Ally Collins gave Grainger a 6-0 lead. Although Agee gave up a single and a double in the final three innings, the Lady Knights weren’t able to mount a threat as Agee struck out two batters in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh to post a 6-0 lead and complete a two-hit shutout in which she struck out 13 batters. Grainger 10, Greeneville 3 In their second game of the tournament played Tuesday at Claiborne High School, Grainger took on Greeneville in the winner’s bracket finals of the tournament. The Lady Grizzlies wasted no time in taking command of the game as Grainger put six runs on the board in the first inning. An error by the third baseman put Emily Agee on base. That was followed by a bunt single by Kayla Black and an RBI single by Abigail Richie. After the first out was recorded, RBI singles by Ramsey Thomson, Courtney Williams and Ally Collins, a walk to Rachel McCoy, an error by Greeneville and a sacrifice fly to left field by Agee staked the Lady Grizzlies to a 6-0 lead. Greeneville scored a pair of runs in the second inning and one in the third to cut the lead in half at 6-3 heading into the bottom of the third inning. A leadoff single by Ally Collins opened the inning for Grainger. She was sacrificed to second by McCoy. That was followed by a single from Ashlyn Tindell and an RBI single from Black for a 7-3 Grainger lead after four innings. In the fifth inning, McCoy reached on a single, which was followed by a fielder’s choice for Tindell and singles for Agee and Black. AnRBI ground out to short by Richie and a single by Kelsey Jones completed the scoring, and the Grainger lead reached 10-3 at the end of the fifth inningAfter giving up a total of three runs in the second and third innings, Grainger pitcher Emily Agee was dominant in the circle in the final four innings of the game. For the entire game, Agee gave up only five hits and struck out eight in posting the victory. Grainger 6, Greeneville 2 After a scoreless Grainger first inning in the championship game played last Thursday, the Greene Devils, who had eliminated West Greene in an elimination game played Wednesday, put a run on the board with a home run in the first inning. The Lady Grizzlies responded with a double by Kelsey Jones, a sacrifice bunt by Ramsey Thomson and a RBI single by Courtney Williams. After Agee held Greeneville scoreless in the top of the third inning, the Lady Grizzlies opened the bottom of the inning with a single from Ashlyn Tindell, which was followed by a bunt single by Kayla Black, a fielder’s choice from Abigail Richie, an error, anRBI single from Ramsey Thomson and a two-run double by Courtney Williams that pushed across a total of five runs in the third inning for a 6-1 Grainger lead. Although the Greene Devils scored a run in the fourth inning, they were unable to threaten again as Agee continued her mastery of the Lady Devils with a 6-2 victory in which she gave up five hits. In posting her fourth win over Greeneville, Agee recorded nine strikeouts in the seven-inning game to give the Lady Grizzlies the District 2-AA tournament championship. With the win, the Lady Grizzlies advanced to a Region 1-AA semifinal game against Unicoi County that was played at Grainger Monday night. “I’m very well pleased with winning the tournament,” said Lady Grizzly coach Rusty Bishop. “It’s the first one Grainger has won in about nine years. We were the most talented and the best team, and it played out on the field that way. Going into the season we knew we had the best pitcher, and usually good pitching beats good hitting, so I thought we had a chance to win. With Agee in the circle, we have a chance to win any game.”

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