Down 8-2 entering the top of the seventh inning, Tullahoma rallied, plating seven runs in the top half of the frame, and holding on for the 9-8 victory at Lincoln County on Tuesday.
“It was unbelievable,” said THS Head Coach Gary Barfield. “[Assistant coach] Whitney [Morris] and I were talking and she’s been with me a long time, playing for me and all that, but I can’t remember anything like that before. We’ve been able to win games in the final inning, but tonight was nuts ... They believed and they didn’t quit and it’s a confidence booster and big win for this young group.”
In the bottom of the sixth, Lincoln County plated five runs, to open up an 8-2 lead. Every run in the sixth for the Lady Falcons came with two outs in the inning.
That’s when the rally started for Tullahoma, as the Lady Wildcats plated seven runs before Lincoln County could record an out in the top of the seventh inning.
Jenna Jones led off the inning with a walk, before Madison Barnett reached base on an error. Kenzie Lenderman followed with a single that drove in Jones, making it an 8-3 contest.
Lila Saunders got on base via an error, which allowed Barnett to score. Carlie Baker also reached on an error, as Lenderman raced home, cutting the Lady Wildcats’ deficit to 8-5.
Meghan Prosser also got on base on an error, loading the bases. Jenna Anderton reached base on the fourth-straight mistake by Lincoln County, allowing Saunders to score.
On the first pitch she saw, Jessica Edde ripped a two-run single into left field, plating Baker and Prosser, evening the score at 8. Demi Garner added a base hit of her own in the next at-bat, as Anderton raced home. Garner was out trying to advance to second on the same play for the first out of the inning.
After Barnett got the start for Tullahoma in the circle, Jones came on to toss the final inning for the Lady Wildcats. She struck out the side, allowing just a hit, helping Tullahoma hold on for the win.
“Those two [pitchers] are so different,” Barfield said. “It’s tough when you’ve seen one for six innings, and all of a sudden, you bring in somebody who throws a changeup for a strike, it’s tough.”
In six innings pitched, Barnett allowed eight runs on 15 hits and three walks, while striking out two batters.
“She’s [Barnett] starting to get back to herself,” Barfield said. “We threw her so much last year, so we aren’t trying to wear her out. There were innings there where she was popping it in there and hitting spots.”
Shelby Bryant got the start for Lincoln County, throwing six innings. Bryant allowed nine runs, all of which were unearned, on eight hits and four walks, while striking out four batters.
Emily Price tossed the final inning for the Lady Falcons, giving up a hit and striking out a batter.
On Wednesday night, Tullahoma returned home, as Jones tossed a complete-game shutout in a 3-0 home win over Franklin County. In seven innings, Jones surrendered just three hits and a pair of walks, while striking out eight batters. The game was Jones’ fourth shutout of the season.
“Jenna was a little sore today because we’ve played so much in the last seven days,” Barfield said. “She did a great job though and pitched to contact. She rarely got behind in the count and that’s when she’s effective.”
Tullahoma broke through for the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Jones singled to start the frame, Barnett followed by reaching on an error.
A fielder’s choice later in the inning resulted in the lead runner getting out at home. However, with two outs, Baker ripped a single into center field, allowing Barnett to race home, giving the Lady Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
“Carlie just continues to get better and better,” Barfield said. “[As a freshman] she’s jumped in the lineup and has done a great job. She is so coachable. With pitchers like we saw tonight in Franklin County, where everything is away, away, away, she’ll let the ball travel and hit the ball the other way and she’s been successful. She had a couple of huge at-bats last night at Lincoln County, drawing a walk and getting a hit. Her future is really bright.”
Tullahoma added its final two scores in the bottom of the fifth. Baker reached base to start the inning, before Prosser reached on an error. Both runners scored when Edde hammered a single into center field, putting the lady Wildcats up 3-0.
“You could tell that we’ve played a whole lot in the last seven days,” Barfield said. “I think we are sore and we had that big come-from-behind win last night, so we weren’t into it mentally all that much, but we found a way to win. Jenna Jones was very, very, very good again in the circle.”
Following Wednesday’s game, Tullahoma (11-6, 5-1) was scheduled to host a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday. The Lady Wildcats are slated to host Lincoln County on Monday, before welcoming in Lawrence County on Tuesday. Game times on both day sis scheduled for 6 p.m.