After each team plated a run in the first inning, it took until the eighth inning for either team to get back into the scoring column, as Shelbyville escaped Tullahoma with a 2-1 victory on Monday.
Taylor Sanders spoiled senior night for the Lady Wildcats, delivering a big blow for Shelbyville. With two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Sanders pummeled a pitch to center field, hitting a solo home run, which proved to be the game-winner.
Tullahoma continued to fight though, and even attempted a two-out rally. Jenna Jones reached on a two-out base hit, before Madison Barnett added a single of her own. However, that’s where the rally fell short for the Lady Wildcats, as Shelbyville recorded the final out, holding on for the victory.
Shelbyville struck for an early run against Tullahoma, as Kaylee Adams lined a triple into left field to start the contest. Kate McKarney followed with a bunt, which allowed Adams to score, giving the Eaglettes a 1-0 advantage.
Tullahoma answered right back though with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Jenna Anderton drew a one-out walk and then moved to second when Jessica Edde reached on an error. With two outs, Jones lined a single into center field, plating Anderton and evening the score at 1.
From there it became a pitcher’s duel, with Shelbyville’s Hannah Burks securing the win. In eight innings, Burks allowed just four hits and a pair of walks, while striking out eight batters.
Jones was solid for the Lady Wildcats in the circle despite taking the loss. In eight innings, she allowed just a pair of runs on four hits and five walks, while striking out seven batters.
Monday marked the third-straight loss for Tullahoma. During that span, the Lady Wildcats’ offense has been struggling, managing just two runs in its last three games.
“I’ve doing this a long time. When you get runners in scoring position, all it takes is one person to hit a gapper off the wall that scores a couple of runs and it will be a big sigh of relief. We are just pressing so hard,” said THS Head Coach Gary Barfield.
“We are in a little slump and it’s not just one or two of our players, it’s the whole team. It happens when you play so many games. It has been intensified because we’ve played some really, really good teams and good pitching, so that makes it a little worse.”
According to Barfield, the way for his team to work out of its “funk” is by continuing to play more games. Tullahoma (12-8, 6-5) will do exactly that, as it was scheduled to head to Columbia on Tuesday to close out District 8-AAA regular-season play. However, as of press time, the result of that game was unavailable.
The Lady Wildcats were then slated to play a doubleheader at Clarksville Northwest on Wednesday. Game times are slated to take place at 5 and 7 p.m.
Tullahoma will then take part in the Coffee County Classic on Friday and Saturday in Manchester. As of press time, the schedule for that tournament had yet to be released.