Lady Rebels stymie UHS

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Sullivan South Lady Rebels came out on fire, and their defense put out a blaze of its own with a 6-0 win over the Unaka Lady Rangers.
   "We struggled early, but we hit the ball well," said South coach Crystal Chappell. "We kind of slacked off at the end. Our biggest focus has been defense, we didn't really make any mistakes, and that was big for us. Our pitcher, Heather Davis, threw a solid game and didn't walk anyone, so I'm proud of that."
   Despite the close loss, Unaka only had three hits the entire game, and allowed Davis to pick up 10 strikeouts.
   "We just didn't play with any enthusiasm," said Unaka coach Ronnie Hicks. "We didn't execute with runners at second and third. We couldn't lay down the bunt to score some runs. When we play like that we're going to get beat, and when we play like we did last week, we're going to win.
   "There was no spirit in the infield. When we came up to bat, we got a couple of good licks on the ball, and they had a couple of good catches. But we didn't hit it well enough to get base runners. We played a good team, so we should've played well, but we didn't."
   South opened the game with two solid hits from Becky McCulley and Julie Tate, followed by two RBI sacrifice flies from Ashley Ferguson and Austin Kelly to give the Lady Rebels the 2-0 lead, despite three straight catches from Kelly Allen.
   Unaka bounced back as Jessica Moffitt and Danielle Carr grabbed quick bases for the Lady Rangers. However, failed bunt attempts led to strikeouts, and gave Unaka no help.
   The second inning showed signs of improvement from Unaka, as defense sat down the three South batters. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Davis was hitting her peak, as she struck out three straight Unaka batters.
   Lyndsay Dawson and McCulley got two opening shots for South to open the third, leading to an Ferguson single, which brought in both runners.
   Austin Kelly sent in Ferguson to give South the 5-0 lead. Unaka didn't have much success later in the evening, as Emily Elliott got their last hit in the fourth inning. It was a defensive effort from South that got the job done.
   South scored its last run when McCulley brought in Dawson to take the 6-0 lead in the fourth, and it would be enough as the Lady Rebels took the win.
   Danni Williams took the loss on the mound for Unaka after a complete seven-inning game. Davis took the win after an impressive job on the mound.