Grainger rallies past West 13-10
Grainger’s Tasha Brady follows through on a third inning home run against Morristown West in the season opening softball game for both teams in Rutledge. The Lady Grizzlies rallied to defeat the Lady Trojans 13-10.
RUTLEDGE — Trailing by five runs in the sixth inning, the Grainger Lady Grizzlies were staring defeat in the eyes in their season opener against Morristown West, but they didn’t back down under the pressure.
The Lady Grizzlies plated eight runs in the sixth and held on for a 13-10 victory over the Lady Trojans after trailing the entire game.
Grainger took advantage of two errors in the sixth and had six hits in the frame to erase a 10-5 deficit. It was the second five run lead of the game for West, as they parlayed six errors by the Lady Grizzlies into 10 runs.
But it wasn’t enough to hold off homestanding Grainger, and Lady Grizzlies coach Rusty Bishop was thrilled with the comeback but not so much with how his team played.
“We didn’t play well defensively, but the kids never gave up,” Bishop said. “It would have been really easy for them to give up, but they kept battling and we found a way to scratch across enough runs to get a win. And when you look at it, 1-0 is definitely better than 0-1.”
West coach LeAnne Maness said her team made too many mistakes late in the game to get the win.
“We just made too many errors,” Maness said. “We should have won it, and I thought Jessi Tinsley pitched great, but we didn’t make enough plays behind her.”
The Lady Trojans took advantage of four errors in the first inning to grab a quick 5-0 lead. Savannah Edmonds and Katie Lakas both reached on errors before Sarah Fryman walked to load the bases. Tinsley plated a run by drawing a bases loaded walk, Natalie Martin added an RBI single and three more runs scored on miscues.
West kept the lead into the third when the Lady Grizzlies rallied with two outs for their first runs of the contest.
Mykala Fennell singled and scored on a two-run homer by Kiara Coffey. Tasha Brady followed with a solo home run, cutting the margin to 5-3.
Maysi Brotherton added to the lead for the Lady Trojans in the fourth with a two-run single, but Grainger scored two of their own in the bottom of the inning. After a run scored on an error, Fennell drove in another run to make it 7-5.
After a scoreless fifth, the sixth inning became the deciding frame of the game. Fryman laced a triple and scored on a double by Tinsley, and Martin followed with a two-run round tripper to push West’s lead to 10-5.
The Lady Trojans appeared on their way to a win, but Grainger rallied for eight runs in the home half of the sixth. Kimberlyn Thomson started the big inning with an RBI single, and Coffey drew a bases loaded walk. Brady reached on an error that plated two runs, and Kaylee Smith followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
Rachael Pierce plated the eventual game-winning run with a base hit, and Samantha Spradling added a two-run single to bring in the final runs of the game.
Spradling, who replaced Smith inside the circle in the top of the sixth inning, allowed just a two-out single to Lakas in the seventh before recording the final out of the game.
Spradling was the winning pitcher over Tinsley.
-By Matt Daniels,Tribune Sports Editor