Lady Rangers strike late to beat North

from staff reports

   KINGSPORT -- On Monday afternoon, Unaka's Lady Rangers started the new softball season with a little never-say-die attitude.
   Scoring five runs in the top of the seventh inning, the Lady Rangers registered an 8-6 non-conference victory over Sullivan North.
   Unaka used five hits, including a double, and three Lady Golden Raider errors in its final at-bat to erase a 6-3 deficit.
   "Five hits, five runs -- that's usually the way it goes," said Unaka head coach Ronnie Hicks. "We just hit the daylights out of the ball. I'm really pleased that we never gave up. Of course they made three errors in there, too."
   Errors played a major role in giving the Sullivan North its 6-3 lead as all of the Lady Raiders' runs were unearned, with three coming in the fourth and three more in the fifth.
   The Lady Rangers grabbed a quick 3-0 advantage in the first inning.
   Kristi Moffitt, who went 2-for-3, showed the way at the plate for Unaka, which got 2-for-4 performances from Emily Elliott and Medora Carrier. Jessica Moffitt added a 1-for-2 effort that included a double and two RBIs.
   Tops for North was Arissa Vaughn at 3-for-4, while Brittany Harris and Nikki Trent each batted 2-for-3.
   Unaka's Danielle Williams and North's Vaughn went the distance on the mound, and both pitchers collected seven strikeouts. Williams showed the better control on this day, recording one walk to Vaughn's six.
   The Lady Rangers journey to Sullivan Central on Friday, then visit David Crockett next Monday.
   Happy Valley 13
   Daniel Boone 6
   GRAY -- Happy Valley's hitting was locked in high gear for the Lady Warriors' season opener on Monday afternoon.
   With Jessica Blevins going 4-for-4 and belting a home run to pace a 14-hit assault, Happy Valley downed Daniel Boone by a 13-6 score in a high school softball game.
   Locked in a 6-6 game after five innings of play, the Lady Warriors finished up strong, scoring five runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
   Leanna Howell, batting 2-for-4 with a double, and Alicia Dick, 2-for-5 with two doubles, made solid contributions to the Happy Valley win.
   Dye went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs to lead the Lady Trailblazers. McInturff had Boone's other two hits on the day.
   Kortney Goulds struck out six batters in six-plus innings of relief to pick up the victory.
   Happy Valley entertains Johnson County at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.