Lady Cyclones bow out early

By Ivan Sanders

   Winning both meetings during regular season often can do one of two things when the most important part of the season rolls around. It can make a team take its opponent too lightly or it can put more pressure than necessary on the team that won the previous two.
   In the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones' game with Sullivan Central on Friday evening, the latter appeared more prevalent as the Lady Cougars stunned the Lady Cyclones by a score of 5-2 at Elizabethton High School to advance to the next round of District 1-AA softball, while the Lady Cyclones placed the final wrappings on a 12-14 season and dreams of what could have been.
   "We seemed to play to excited," stated Lady Cyclone head coach Gerald Jenkins. "The kids were just trying too hard and couldn't seem to hold back on the pitches given to them by the pitcher Butler."
   EHS managed to take a 1-0 lead after one inning of play as Sarah Smith hit a screamer that dusted the chalk for a double and stole third. Smith took home plate when Brittany Hilton grounded out.
   The score stayed that way until the top of the fifth when the Lady Cougars clawed their way back into the contest. A triple by Lady Cougar catcher Brickey and three straight singles to take a 3-1 advantage.
   Central went on to add one run each in the sixth and seventh inning as Brickey hit for another triple and was driven home on a single by Stone. Sarah Munal then ripped a home run in the seventh to finish off the scoring for the Lady Cougars.
   Jenkins squad made a run in the seventh as Brandi Fairman reached on a single and scored on a double that was stroked by Michelle Collins. It wasn't enough as Central made the final out on a little tapper down the first base line and the Lady Cougars jumped for joy in a huddle of mass humanity in their advancement to the next round.
   "Central deserves credit because they hit the ball hard all night," said Jenkins. "They scored four out of their five runs after we were able to get two outs."
   Added Jenkins: "We could only get two base runners through six innings and only four total for the game. We didn't have school today and I should have gotten these girls here early to get their minds set for the game. I guess I didn't prepare them the way I should have."