STRAWBERRY PLAINS – Grainger found themselves in a hole early in their softball game at Carter on Tuesday but their patience and persistence eventually paid off.
The Lady Grizzlies rallied in the fourth inning and then held on late to take a 6-5 win over the Lady Hornets. With the win, Grainger improves to 11-3 on the season.
Carter’s offensive explosion in the home half of the second inning was concerning but not catastrophic for the Lady Grizzlies according to head coach Rusty Bishop. “They scored four there in the second but we didn’t panic. They kicked it around for us when we scored our runs and that really helped us out. Pitching and defense won it the rest of the way.”
The Lady Hornets were able to take advantage of some early Grainger pitching woes as two of the four runs in the Carter fourth were bases-loaded walks. Brilee Kitts produced the other two runs with a single to right center field as the home team led 4-0 after two.
Grainger got on the board in the third inning when Cheri Bonnell drew a one-out walk and later came home on Lexie Sykes’ single to left field. The bats finally came alive for the Lady Grizzlies in the fourth as Hannah Cure, Sykes and Bonnell each had RBIs for Grainger. He big hit came when Shounta Coffey laced a two-run single to left center to give Grainger a 6-4 lead. The Lady Hornets were able to get one of the runs back in the fourth when Kitts had her third RBI of the game, this time on a double to left field that plated Sydney Hurst. Carter had runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but Grainger was able to get out the tough fix each time to preserve the 6-5 lead.
Tuesday’s game was part of a busy week for Grainger. After defeating Knox Central on Monday and picking up the victory over the Lady Hornets, the Lady Grizzlies will continue their trek on Thursday as they take on Morristown East and then head to a tournament in Kingsport this weekend. “It’s the nature of the beast in the Spring as you play every day,” Bishop said of the full plate his team is facing this week. “You have to get used to it and prepare yourself for tournament time.”