Vance, Science Hill top Lady Jr. 'Clones

from staff reports


   BRISTOL -- It really wasn't the finish the Lady Junior Cyclones were looking for, but one day can hardly tarnish a season's worth of good work.
   Dropping a 6-1 decision to top-seeded Vance in the conference tournament semifinals on Wednesday, T.A. Dugger then closed out its season with a tough 5-4 loss to Science Hill in the consolation game.
   "We beat Vance -- which I think was their only loss -- we beat Science Hill twice and we got our first-ever win over Unicoi County, so it was a good year for us," said T.A. Dugger coach Harry Farthing, his club closing out with an 11-7 record. "I wish we could have played a little better tonight."
   Vance went on to capture the title with a 2-0 win over Indian Trail, which defeated Science Hill 4-3 in the semifinals.
   T.A. Dugger, which just last month dealt Vance a rare defeat, had trouble against Junior Viking pitcher Kara Faidley, who hurled a three-hitter and struck out nine batters against no walks.
   "She's the best pitcher in the league," said Farthing. "We couldn't mount a whole lot of offense. We had one bad inning where we misplayed a couple of bunts and made a couple of errors. They scored four runs and that was pretty much it."
   The score was 2-0 when Vance pushed across four runs in the fourth.
   T.A. Dugger's one run, courtesy of Cameron Crapps on a Megan Heaton RBI, came in the fifth.
   Ashley Cline topped the Lady Cyclones with two hits in three at-bats, while Mary Edgar batted 1-for-3.
   Edgar (5-2) took the loss, although only three of the runs she allowed were earned. She fanned five batters and totaled zero walks.
   Seven Vance players accounted for one hit each.
   The consolation game saw T.A. Dugger seize a 4-2 advantage with two fifth-inning runs, but the Junior Hilltoppers retaliated with three runs in their next turn at the dish.
   Ryann Musick (5-3), who registered five strikeouts and four walks, was a hard-luck loser for the Lady Cyclones.
   Brittany Smith led the Junior Cyclone bats with a 2-for-3 effort that included one run and a stolen base. Michaela Pietrowski (RBI triple) and Lana Blevins (1 run, 1 stolen base) followed up at 1-for-2 apiece, while Cline went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run.
   Hannah Parker emerged as the winning pitcher, notching four strikeouts and one base on balls.
   Crapps and Musick were named to the all-conference/tournament team for the Lady Cyclones, who figures to field a strong team again next season.
   "With the girls from Indian Trail moving up, Science Hill will probably be the favorite," Farthing said. "I think we're right there at No. 2. We should be a contender for the league title."