Lady Warriors stop Cyclones

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   Some of the Lady Cyclone players were hoping that the Lady Warriors of Happy Valley might do a rain dance so they could get a little rest, but the only dance the Lady Warriors performed was one of war.
   Showing no mercy to the game-weary Lady Cyclones of Elizabethton, Happy Valley used big innings in the third and fourth frame to defeat the visiting Lady Cyclones in five innings, 16-4 on Thursday afternoon.
   "We are a tired team right now," said Lady Cyclone head coach Gerald Jenkins. "We maybe have had one day of rest in the last 19 days and it shows in the way our girls played today."
   Neither team seemed to be on top of their games early as each side was making costly mistakes that allowed the other team to score runs.
   EHS grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first as Brandi Fairman singled and advanced to second with a stolen base. Fairman took third on a wild pitch and scored on an error by the Lady Warrior shortstop on a ball hit by Brittany Hilton.
   Hilton came around to score on another error, this time by Happy Valley's third baseman. Lady Warrior pitcher Alicia Dick finally corralled the Cyclones on little tappers back to the mound to end the frame.
   The Lady Cyclones returned the favor in the bottom of the inning as they committed three errors to go along with a wild pitch in allowing the Lady Warriors to tack one run in their column.
   Behind two hits and another error by Happy Valley, 'Betsy made up for the run they gave in the first. Stephanie Cline and Sarah Smith had back-to-back singles and two stolen bases to put the Lady 'Clones in business with another solo run.
   Coach Karri Killen's squaws took charge during their at-bat in the second. Jessie Blevins, Jeanie Hawkins and LeAnna Howell collected singles and Mandy Byrd ripped a double, allowing the Lady Warriors to plate four in the frame.
   "This is really a good group to coach because I have stressed to them that when the defense shows up, the sticks will come alive," stated Coach Killen. "We finally settled down today defensively and played our brand of ball by swinging a hot bat."
   The Cyclones needed to take advantage of the misfortunes of the Lady Warriors early because once Dick finally found her groove, it was going to be a long day for the Lady 'Clones.
   Dick and her teammates virtually shut down everything the Cyclones attempt through the third and fourth innings with only Michelle Collins reaching base on a single in the third inning.
   Meanwhile, the Lady Warriors laid their feathered headbands back and put a hurting on the Lady Cyclone pitching staff. Happy Valley crossed the plate 11 times in two innings of play to put the finishing touches on the game.
   The highlight of the game was a two-run homer by freshman Blevins of the Lady Warriors. Blevins finished the game with a 2-for-4 performance.
   Other notable players for Happy Valley were: Byrd-2 for 3, Howell 2 for 4, and Terra Whaley 2 for 4. Several of the Lady Warriors added one hit each.
   EHS managed to add one more run in the fifth, but the game was called due to the 10 run rule after five. Fairman finished the afternoon going 2 for 2 with two runs scored.
   Other Lady Cyclones responsible for the hit tally were Smith, Collins, and Cline. The big difference in the game had to be the errors committed by both teams.
   Happy Valley finished with six errors while the Lady Cyclones committed nine miscues. The Lady Warriors outhit EHS by a 12-5 margin.
   "Our play really just stunk to sum it up," said Jenkins. "If you had watched the game yesterday and this game today, you would have shook your head."