Claiborne softball fall twice in district championship to Greeneville

GREENEVILLE – Greeneville was able to win the District 2-AA softball tournament championship Saturday morning by picking up key two-out hits when they needed them most against Claiborne.

The second-seeded Lady Greene Devils scored 10 of their 13 runs after the second out had been recorded and that allowed them to down the Lady Bulldogs 13-1. Claiborne, the number three seed, was also haunted by several errors and head coach Justin Cox said that was the difference in the game against Greeneville. “We gave them several outs. We had quite a few boo-boos today, maybe it was because we played late (Friday night) and got up early and came up here to play this morning but we just didn’t bring the fire with us today.”

Despite the loss, the Lady Dawgs live to fight another day as they will play in the regional tournament. They travel to Carter County to take on District 1-AA champion Elizabethton Monday at 5:30 p.m. “It’s a new season. On any given day, any team can win. We will go out and give it our A-game and the best team will win,” Cox said of the upcoming matchup against the Lady Cyclones.

Ella Moore had the hot bat for Greeneville as she went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Lauren Million also drove in two runs for the Lady Greene Devils. Greeneville was able to connect on five doubles in Saturday’s win. Claiborne’s lone run came in the fifth when Emma Myatt walked and scored on Lily Cox’s single to right field.

Greeneville 11, Claiborne 10

RUTLEDGE – The first game of the District 2 softball tournament between Claiborne and Greeneville was a pitchers’ duel but game two turned out to be a shoot-out.

The Lady Bulldogs slipped past Greeneville 1-0 on Tuesday and after downing second-seeded Grainger to advance to the championship round on Wednesday, they faced the Lady Greene Devils again on Friday in the title game. A win would give Claiborne the district tournament championship and secure a home game in next week’s regional. After falling down 5-1 early, the Lady Bulldogs rallied to take a lead, only to see it slip away in the fifth inning as they lost 11-10 and force Saturday morning’s second game.

“There were a lot of unforced errors that we shouldn’t have made,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Justin Cox said. “I feel like we left a ‘W’ on the field tonight as we had the better team.”

Greeneville took an early lead when they scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning with the big hit coming from Ashlyn Rachon who hit a two-run double. After that however, it was all Claiborne as the Lady Greene Devils didn’t have but one hit over the next three innings.

Claiborne stormed back to tie things up at 5-5 in the third, took the lead in the fourth and built a 10-5 lead by scoring five runs in the fifth inning. Gretchen Jones had the key offensive play as she smoked a hard single to right field that landed in front of the Greeneville fielder but the ball then bounced past her and rolled all the way to the fence. On the play, Jones drove two runs in and was able to come all the way around to score from first base as the Lady Dawgs doubled up the score at 10-5.

The Lady Greene Devils responded in the home half of the fifth with a three-run homer and then added two runs on a pair of miscues by Claiborne to take an 11-10 lead. Greeneville was able to sit the Lady Bulldogs down in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.