Lady 'Clones can't contain Unicoi Co.

By Wes Holtsclaw

STAR CORRESPONDENT
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   A group of Lady Devils halted a stormy Cyclone.
   Using an array of offense and defensive fundamentals, the defending state champion Unicoi County Lady Blue Devils invaded Elizabethton High School with an overwhelming 13-2 decision over the Lady Cyclones on the softball diamond Tuesday afternoon.
   "We hit it well early," said Unicoi County head coach Charlie Baxter. "It was a good effort up and down the lineup. We were glad to play a lot of people."
   Said Elizabethton coach Angie Barker: "We can play with them, we just didn't do it today. You've got to make some adjustments and make things happen. We just couldn't stop watching pitches."
   Unicoi County opened up their scoring in the first inning with a deep solo shot from Beth Haun.
   Kristie Keys got a hit for the Lady Cyclones, but the Lady Devils held their own with a 1-0 lead.
   The blue and white rattled Keys on the mound during their next offensive frame scoring five runs in the second inning. Wendy Woods scored on a walk before Kellye Lingerfelt drove in Rachel Tilson.
   The Lady Devils packed more punch when Danielle Huskins launched a rocket over the right-center fence, scoring three runs in the process as Unicoi took a 6-0 lead.
   Haun finished the inning for her squad with two strikeouts shutting down the side for Betsy.
   "We've been trying to see what we need to do early to get better," added Baxter. "Today, it seemed to be working out okay."
   The Lady Devils continued to pack the scoreboard with another five runs in the third and fourth innings.
   A Tilson RBI single paved the way for an RBI double from Danielle Huskins and a sacrificed score from Stephanie Byrd. Rachel Edwards drove in two ribbies with her double, giving Unicoi an 11-0 lead through four and a half innings.
   The Lady Cyclones never gave up, rallying back in the fifth inning with a walk to Abby Jenkins and a Maggie Austin double putting runs in scoring position.
   Sarah Smith followed up some great defense throughout the game with a smashing two-run double to force another inning for Elizabethton.
   The Lady Devils tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning after RBI plays from Ashton Johnson and Melissa Willis. Johnson closed out the contest with the save.
   Huskins went two of three for the Devils, adding four RBIs and two runs to the Unicoi County cause.
   "We just work hard and play hard," said Huskins. "We hope to fair well this season, we're pumped and ready."
   Said Sarah Smith: "We just made tiny mistakes and errors that could've been prevented. Everybody played well and Unicoi hit it well."
   Beth Haun earned the victory from the mound, while Keys took the loss for Elizabethton. Johnson was credited with the save for Unicoi County.
   Elizabethton travels to Sullivan Central on Thursday, while Unicoi County hosts Happy Valley.
   Said Baxter: "Happy Valley's got a good club. We've got to approach them like all others."