Despite runners on with big batters at the plate, Lakeway Christian Academy was bested in back to back games by Jackson Christian, ending the Lions’ postseason run in the quarterfinals of the Division II-A State Tournament.
Needing just one win to advance, Lakeway Christian entered their first game on Thursday afternoon looking to take care of business and punch their ticket to the state tournament, where they placed third last year.
However, their bats couldn’t seem to find the ball all game, and two early runs for Jackson Christian gave the Eagles the 2-0 victory, forcing a game three.
A couple of early errors from both sides and a solo homer from Eagle McKinley Arnold left the score at 2-2 entering the fifth in game three.
Huge plays from Trinity Brooks of Jackson Christian in the fifth helped propel the Eagles to a 3-2 victory, exacting revenge on the Lions who ended their run in the state tournament last year.
In the circle for Lakeway, Avery Ramey and Katie Fultz each got a start. Ramey allowed seven hits and walked one in game two, while Fultz allowed only five hits in game threewhile walking two.
Aside from a costly error in the first inning of game three on a throw from center to third that scored one for the Eagles, it was a fairly clean couple of games for the Lions in the field.
Their struggles came at the plate. Jackson Christian’s Maggie Richardson got the start in the circle in both games, allowing 13 total hits while striking out six on the day and coming up clutch in a couple of huge spots down the stretch.
Following their eighth consecutive scoreless inning, the Lions started to find their groove in inning two of game three. With Katie Fultz on third by way of a walk, Kiersten Neely on second via a single popped just over the glove of the third baseman and Zayle Elkins on first with a single of her own, Lakeway was back at the top of the order with the bases loaded.
Myla Russell stepped up to the plate and delivered, scoring two with her double to give the Lions the 2-1 lead, their first of the day.
Two innings later, with the Eagles having knotted the game at two, Alyssa Williams stepped in the box for Lakeway with the bases loaded facing two outs. The crowd felt confident, but the tension began to build as the at-bat went on.
With the count full, she ripped a shot down the foul line and over the left field wall. The ball seemed to wait until the last second before ducking just out of play. She’d foul off one more before flying out in center at the hands of the Eagles’ Trinity Brooks, leaving three runners on base.
Brooks’ fifth inning was a spectacle, scoring what would be the game deciding run for the Eagles in the top with a single she popped just over the glove of Katie Fultz and making an incredible diving grab in the bottom. A pair of strikeouts from Maggie Richardson left the Lions scoreless in the inning.
Lakeway again began to build momentum in the sixth, Fultz closing out the top with a strikeout in a big spot. Myla Russell’s single and an error that turned Kacey Pillion’s single into a double left runners on second and third, with Katie Whitaker approaching the plate.
She made contact, but Kyndall Turner made a great grab for Jackson Christian from short, and again Lakeway left runners on. Whitaker and Williams are both batters that coaches Jay Lowery and Ellen Renfroe have a lot of confidence in. They’ve come up big in spots like these many times before, it was just that kind of day for the Lions.
They out-hit the Eagles nine to five in game three, they just couldn’t connect in the spots they needed to.
After going three up three down in the seventh, Lakeway Christian’s season ended with a record of 19-10-1.
West End Ink is located on 3763 West Andrew Johnson Hwy and is open Tuesday through Friday from 12pm to 9pm and Saturday 3pm to 9pm. The shop has been serving the community since 2020 when the owner Jose Aguilar decided to venture out on the business side of tattooing.
We want to say a huge THANK YOU to this community for honoring us with this award. We couldn’t have achieved this without you. For the past 16 years, it has been our mission to help those in Hamblen County and the surrounding area to lead healthier and happier lives.
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