TAD girls deflate Robinson

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Tuesday afternoon, like the song from Green Day, the T.A. Dugger Lady Cyclone softball team was a 'Basketcase.'
   Down two runs early in the game, the Lady 'Clones powered back behind a strong pitching effort from Ryann Musick and her defense to hammer the Ross Robinson Lady Redskins 6-2, advancing to the final four of the conference tournament.
   Musick pitched an excellent game against the Lady 'Skins, only allowing two hits to go along with her 10 strikeouts on the evening.
   "I had great defense," she said. "They hit really well today so I had a great team to back me up."
   Robinson started out strong with a leadoff hit from Danielle Zimmerman, and an error-producing base to Taylor Hensley. A wild throw with an error at third propelled both players to garnish scores in the first inning, as Robinson led 2-0.
   The Lady Cyclones were primed and ready to open the game, but Zimmerman sat them down with three strikeouts, giving the Lady 'Skins a roaring advantage.
   The Lady Cyclones came out on fire in the second inning. Backed by an error-aided three-bagger from Lana Blevins, T.A. Dugger got some quick runs.
   Katie Hubbard drove in Blevins with a single, and was driven home by a sacrifice play from Ashley Cline. Cameron Crapps scored the other run for the ladies as Megan Heaton's errored double led to a 3-2 T.A. Dugger lead.
   The Lady Cyclone defense prospered from there on out, as Musick only gave up one hit throughout the next six innings. T.A. Dugger united as a team, fielding the ball and backing up its pitcher to near perfection.
   TAD's offense continued its rolling streak in the third inning, when Mikael Oliver took base with an error, and made her way around to score on a Victoria Hopson single.
   Hopson scored on a Mary Edgar sacrifice infield ball, pushing the Lady 'Clones to the peak. Another run from Brittany Smith, who singled to advance on two wild pitches, sealed the deal for T.A. Dugger.
   It was a pleasing day for T.A. Dugger coach Harry Farthing, who was proud of his team and his pitcher.
   "Ryann's been our number one pitcher all along," said Farthing. "I told her today that it was a must-win game. So we put our number one out here and we beat them.
   "We gave them a couple of runs early. I think we were a little tight and nervous, and they've got a good pitcher (Zimmerman). She's about as hard as anybody in the league."
   "But we've caught up with them just enough, and they misplaced some balls in the outfield. We got some big hits. I'm proud of the kids, we just scored enough runs to win."
   Zimmerman finished with a decent game for the Lady 'Skins, tallying seven strikeouts with only two walks and five hits.
   It was a well-rounded day with the bats from T.A. Dugger, which had a hit from five different players.
   T.A. Dugger plays Vance Middle School in Bristol this afternoon in a semifinal round matchup. Game time is at 4.