Happy Valley outlasts Boone

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Happy Valley Lady Warriors were clearly exhausted Monday afternoon after a wild weekend of softball action.
   They didn't get much time to rest however, as they matched up against the Lady Blazers of Daniel Boone on Monday afternoon at Cannon Gouge Park.
   Both squads battled through mistakes, but Happy Valley took advantage with a late comeback to take a 6-5 victory on their home turf.
   "Playing eight games and coming out I knew we were going to be tired," said Happy Valley coach Karri Killen. "As far as mental mistakes, stuff like that, maybe that is from a lack of sleep or just being tired. But hey, they battled back and they wanted it. I told them we had two innings, if they wanted it to go get it."
   The Lady Warriors were down 5-3 at one point late in the game, but they used two big double plays and solid defense when they needed it most to give their offense chances to win.
   "They stepped up, we had a couple of key double plays that helped out a lot," Killen said. "They did good to battle back and they don't give up, that's what I like most about them."
   Leanna Howell tossed the majority of the game for Happy Valley from the mound and came up big in the last inning with a sacrificed fly to score the winning run.
   "I was kind of feeling bad there, so I was glad to come back out and get that hit," said Howell. "It makes me feel better. The defense was great today and we came out and did well for a long weekend."
   The Lady Warriors opened on a strong note after a Kate Powell single in the first inning. Mandy Byrd followed her with a big RBI double to give Happy Valley the first lead of the game.
   Terra Whaley added a single, before Kortney Goulds set up a nice infield play to score Byrd.
   The Lady Warriors got in a bind during the second inning with runs in place for Boone. A Lynna McInturff pop-out was fielded by Jeanie Hawkins who set Mandy Byrd up for the third out on Kelley Moody.
   The Lady Blazers were fired up in the third inning, loading the bases on walks to Amanda Wheeler and Anna Johnson, with an Arial Dye single.
   Wheeler scored on a Kari Harper single, while Dye scored from a hit batter.
   A wild throw allowed Johnson to tag home, before McInturff drove in Harper to take a 4-2 lead.
   Happy Valley got walks to Terra Whaley and Kortney Goulds to open the third before Howell drove in Whaley. On the play, Goulds was injured sliding into third base and would miss the rest of the game.
   Both squads held each other scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, but Boone was ready to make things tough for the Lady Warriors by adding a run in the sixth after an RBI by Dye, scoring Moody to take a 5-3 lead.
   The maroon and white held a team gathering before there next at bats, deciding to do something.
   They got rolling when Howell and Jessica Blevins backed each other up with doubles. Jennifer Osborne sent Howell across the plate before a Kate Powell RBI single tied the game at five a piece.
   A chance to win the game rested on the shoulders of Howell and the Lady Warrior defense.
   Amanda Hawkes singled for Daniel Boone to open things up in the seventh. But Sarah White was thrown out at first and Hawkes got caught between second and third in the double play, giving the Lady Warriors a chance to win.
   They didn't wait long to get things going.
   Whaley opened with a single, followed by a sacrificed bunt from Christy Shell. Howell stepped up to the plate and sent a shot roaring into centerfield.
   The ball was caught, but Whaley tagged and bolted across the plate, giving the Lady Warriors another victory this season.
   Powell led Happy Valley with a four of four outing, adding an RBI and a run.
   "I knew we had to win because we have to protect home field," said Powell. "I've been hitting really good lately and I knew I had to step up because we weren't playing good in the field at one point. Somebody had to step up and get the hits, I tried."
   Howell went two of three for the Lady Warriors with two RBI's and a run, while Mandy Byrd and Terra Whaley both went two of four. Byrd with an RBI and a run and Whaley with two big runs.
   Howell took the win over Harper, who tossed a complete game for the Lady Blazers. Boone was led with a two of three outing from Johnson, who added a run.
   The Lady Warriors travel to Elizabethton with a conference battle set for 4:30 p.m.