Lincoln County plated five runs in the top of the first inning and, despite rallying, Tullahoma couldn’t overcome that deficit, seeing its season come to a close in a 6-4 loss in a District 8-AAA Tournament Elimination Game in Shelbyville on Monday.
After falling behind 5-0, Tullahoma attempted to mount a comeback with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Lincoln County tacked on one more score in the fifth inning, before the Lady Wildcats answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, cutting their deficit to 6-4.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Jenna Jones reached base for Tullahoma off an error by the Lady Falcons. Demi Garner was then hit by the pitch in her at-bat. However, Lincoln County was able to hang on for the win, as Shelby Bryant struck out Madison Barnett to end the contest.
“We didn’t play particularly well, but we played really, really hard and battled,” said THS Head Coach Gary Barfield. “That’s what I’m proud of. There’s nobody in the huddle crying, they’re upset that the season is over. What they were able to do this season and what they’ve accomplished and some of the teams that they’ve beaten in this state, in Alabama and others, we had a really good year.”
Lincoln County hammered pitches to start the contest, plating four runs before Tullahoma could record an out. McKenzie Swinford doubled to left field to start the game, before Anna Marie Thornton drew a walk in her at-bat. Sara Koonce reached on an error, loading the bases for the Lady Falcons.
Josie Hall followed by driving a double into center field, allowing all three runners to come home. Bryant followed with a single in her at-bat, before Mollie Gordon doubled, plating Hall, and making the score 4-0.
Tullahoma made a pitching change after that hit. After Barnett got the start, Jones took over in the circle the remainder of the way. Barnett ended her night after being tagged for five runs, three of which were earned, on four hits and a walk.
“Maddy was throwing ball really hard for us, she was throwing it nearly 63 or 64 miles per hour, but she wasn’t locating it like she needed it to against a team of that caliber,” Barfield said. “If you leave it on the white, nine times out of 10, they are going to hit it hard and they did. Then we booted some balls behind her as well.”
Jones came in and recorded three-straight outs for Tullahoma to end the top of the first inning. However, one of those outs, was a ground ball that led to another score, putting Lincoln County in front 5-0.
In seven innings pitched, Jones allowed a run on five hits, while striking out six batters.
“Jenna came in and just pitched lights out,” Barfield said. “She was outstanding for us like she has been all year.”
Tullahoma attempted to rally with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Jessica Edde led off the game with a single to center field, before Lila Saunders reached on a bunt single. Both runners scored when Demi Garner hammered a double into left field, cutting the Lady Wildcats’ deficit to 5-2.
Lincoln County added a run in the top of the fifth, after Gordon doubled to start in the inning. With two outs, Breanna Haislip added a double of her own, plating Gordon, making the score 6-2.
Tullahoma once again answered with runs, adding another pair in the bottom of the fifth inning. Erin Douglas and Edde drew walks in their at-bats. Saunders then singled to left field, plating Douglas to make the score 6-3.
Garner drew a two-out walk in her at-bat. Barnett then added a single into left field, plating Edde and making the score 6-4. Jenna Anderton grounded out to the end the inning, hammering a pitch to Haislip, who was able to make a great play on the ball, getting the Lady Falcons out of the inning.
After beating Tullahoma on Monday, Lincoln County was slated to take on Shelbyville on Tuesday. However, as of press time, the result of that game was unavailable.