T.A. Dugger girls claim league title

from staff reports

   Unicoi County Middle School has been a thorn in the side of the T.A. Dugger Lady Junior Cyclones softball team for many years now.
   On Friday afternoon, T.A.D. finally nipped the Lady Patriots in the bud.
   T.A. Dugger took its first doubleheader sweep of Unicoi County in several years on Friday afternoon, winning 5-1 and 1-0 to capture the Middle Eight Conference title.
   "I told the kids after the game that I don't say this much, 'but I'm real proud of you,'" T.A. Dugger head coach Harry Farthing said. "They did something a lot of good teams didn't do."
   In the first game, T.A.D struck for three runs in the first inning, then it was up to pitcher Mary Edgar.
   Edgar pitched a complete game, giving up only four hits and eight strikeouts. Edgar also struck out five of the first six batters.
   Michaela Pietrowski went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI. Catcher Kendall Blackston also had two hits, both being doubles.
   Tia Nave went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs. Brittany Smith and Kyla Jones each had 1-for-2 efforts for the Lady Cyclones.
   In game two, Smith picked up where Edgar left off on the mound. She pitched a four-hit shutout, and improved to 5-0 on the season.
   The Lady Cyclones scored their only run in the first when Pietrowski's double scored Jones, who had just singled and stole second.
   Jones, Pietrowski and Edgar each had two hits for T.A.D.
   The two wins that Farthing's team came up with on Friday will be cherished by the coach for a long time.
   "It's not like we beat a bad team," Farthing said. "They were tough. I think they fully expected to take us out."
   On Saturday, T.A. Dugger completed an undefeated conference season with a sweep of Science Hill.
   T.A. Dugger won game one 6-4, then took a 2-0 decision in the nightcap.
   In the opener, the Lady Cyclones broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fourth with two runs that proved to be decisive.
   Edgar went 3-for3 with an RBI, while Jasmine Treadway finished 2-for-2.
   Holly Livingston added a 1-for-1 effort.
   In the second game, Smith improved her record to 6-0 by pitching a one-hit shutout.
   Smith, Leah Henson, Blackston and Janey Robinson all went 1-for-2 for T.A.D.
   T.A. Dugger starts tournament play Monday at Blackbottom. Farthing hopes the success continues.
   "This is a special group of kids," he said. "It's hard to go undefeated, but we took on the best and beat all of them. It would be nice to cap the regular season title with a conference tournament championship."