Lady Warriors best Hampton

By Rebecca Pierson
STAR Correspondent

   Not even the rain could keep the Lady Warriors down Tuesday evening. After a tight but disappointing loss to Lady Rangers the night before, they were bound and determined not to let the Lady Bulldogs get in front of them with an 11-4 win.
   "We came out and had to get them a bit more focused after yesterday," Happy Valley head coach Karri Killen said. "They came out and hit the ball. Alicia threw a perfect game those first four innings, and they had the bats behind her."
   Happy Valley would go 2-0 in the first, when Jessica Blevins hit a double for two RBIs, pushing Kate Powell and Terra Whaley across home.
   In the third, Randi Williams hit a drive to centerfield to place Jennifer Osborne on third and Blevins home. Christy Shell would hit another drive to center to send Osborne home, leaving Williams on third.
   After Williams stole home and Shell swiped second, Mandy Byrd sent a third straight up the middle for Shell to come in and bring the score to 6-0.
   The fourth inning saw Happy Valley earning five more runs to bring the score to 11-0. The Lady Warriors' Alicia Dick pitched a perfect four innings, but after the team has played 10 games in five days, Killen brought out the substitutes to finish off. Shell would pitch the rest the game.
   "It was a hard choice, whether to let her pitch a perfect game or to rest her," she said. "With all the games we have played, we try to get some subs in there to rest them up."
   "Alicia throws the ball as well as anybody," she said. "She has really worked hard all summer. She is a great kid and a great athlete. She has worked hard to get to where she is."
   Hampton would take advantage of the fresh players in the fifth. Lauren Pitman and Melissa Norris tagged singles, then Lacey Oliver banged a double for both RBIs. From there an error by Byrd gave Amanda Peters a double and send Oliver home to bring the score to 11-3.
   "As in every game, we talked about what we have to do right -- cut down on mistakes, be aggressive," Lady Bulldog head coach Pat Kelly said. "We try to take that into every game."
   Kelly would also make a pitching change in the fourth, subbing Melissa Norris for Heather Chambers. Chambers would allow two walks and five hits for no runs in two and a half innings.
   Hampton would earn one more run by Oliver, but it wouldn't be enough to catch up.
   "We play a tough conference," Kelly said. "What isn't a tough game? We try to improve. We continue working hard and trying not to get down on ourselves -- just make routine plays and swing the bat. We approach every game the same way."
   Hampton will have another conference match-up on Thursday at Elizabethton.
   Happy Valley will continue the week playing every day. Tomorrow the Lady Warriors will travel to Johnson County and then will be at Volunteer on Thursday. After a three-day prom weekend, the team will be back in action for another five-day stretch next week.
   "They just came out ready to play and played well," Killen said. "They hit the ball well and I can't ask anymore than that. We have a great group of girls. I hope we go far."