KNOXVILLE — It was the fluke play of all fluke plays, and it cost Morristown East a chance to play in the state tournament.
A dropped ball at third base took an odd bounce and rolled into the dugout, allowing Halls to score the winning run in a 3-2 victory in the Class AAA state sectional at Halls High School Saturday night.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Morristown East coach Robin Vannoy said. “I’m thankful that the girls have done everything we’ve asked them to do. Our team has really bonded as a family. It’s hard to lose when it’s so close like that. It wasn’t our night.”
The Lady Hurricanes (37-7) had to battle back to get to that point in the seventh. Halls (30-6) took an early 2-0 lead in the first. Aspen Calloway batted in Tanna Hensley with an RBI double. An RBI single from Lauren Lawson put Cassie Norris across home plate after Norris got on the bags with an error. The Lady Devils led 2-0 and held it until the top of the fourth inning.
Randi Drinnon led off the action for Morristown East with a base hit. Pitcher Emma Frost sent an RBI double into the outfield that brought her in. A single from Sarah King put Frost on third and she moved home thanks to an RBI from Jessica Harris. Halls could do nothing in the bottom of the frame and the score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh.
The Lady Canes’ had their best chance to take the lead in the top of the sixth. Drinnon led off the inning with a double, but three straight flyouts ended the inning.
In the bottom of the stanza, Halls got a one-out double from Hensley. Norris took up the bat and sent a bouncing base hit over third base. Hensley charged third and an attempt to get the second out was made, only for the ball to bounce off a glove awkwardly and roll into the Lady Devils’ dugout. With the dead ball, every player got to advance and Hensley walked across the plate for the game-winning run. Halls charged the field to celebrate as the Lady Hurricanes could only huddle up in disbelief.
“That’s an incident that happens,” Vannoy said. “It didn’t go our way.”