Lady Cyclones drub Sullivan North

Photo by Dave Boyd
Mary Edgar, shown standing on third base for EHS, had three hits in the game.

By Tim Chambers

   When the Lady Cyclones came marching from the locker room attired in their camouflage jerseys, Sullivan North had to figure it was in for quite a battle.
   Not only was it senior night on Monday, but the Lady Cyclones were paying tribute to their assistant coach Amy Richardson, who will be leaving for Iraq in June.
   "We wanted to do something special for Coach Richardson, so we wore the jerseys in her honor," stated Cyclone skipper Kenny Hardin following his team's 11-1 win. "She means so much to each of our players."
   The Lady Cyclones threatened in the first as Mary Edgar led off with a single and Jessica Robinson lined a double down the left-field line, placing runners at second and third. A force out at the plate plus a strikeout and groundout allowed North to escape without giving up a run.
   Elizabethton took a 3-0 advantage in the third as Edgar reached on an error and Robinson walked. After a fielder's choice, Katie Hubbard ripped a single to score Robinson and Lana Blevins, followed with a base hit to plate another run. An error and fielder's choice allowed the third run to score.
   "We came out ready to play tonight," stated Robinson. "We wanted to win this one for coach Richardson."
   The 'Betsy brigade came out swinging the bats in the fourth inning as Austin lined a hard smash to center field that was misplayed, and Edgar followed with a base knocker. Robinson continued her spectacular hitting display with an RBI single that scored Edgar for a 4-0 advantage.
   Hubbard, Tia Nave and Abbie Jenkins added RBI singles while Blevins belted a dinger that helped extend the Cyclone lead at 7-1. North had managed a solo run in the fourth on two doubles by Arissa Vaughn and Brittany Harris, but Edgar's pitching, aided by some brilliant Cyclone defense in the field, prevented the Golden Raider offense from scoring again,
   "We hit the ball well tonight and played good defense," added Hubbard. "We want to try and get ready for tournament time."
   Elizabethton added four more in the sixth when Hubbard slapped a double to the fence in left center field while Blevins added a single to score Hubbard. Nave crushed a double off the left-field wall for and RBI while another North miscue allowed a run to score.
   Edgar's smash off the chainlink wall brought home Maggie Austin for the 10-run margin.
   "I just tried to help my team tonight by getting some hits and pitching well," said Edgar.
   Robinson, Blevins and Hubbard each swung a mean stick, all going 3 for 4, while Edgar added a 3-for-5 day. Nave chipped in with a 2-for-4 performance, helping the Cyclones to an astounding 15-hit performance.
   "I just want another crack (at Unicoi)," added Nave. "If we play good defense and hit the ball, we can play with anyone."
   Kristie Keys got the win going three innings before leaving in the fourth inning with a sore elbow. Keys allowed only one hit in three innings before her departure.
   Edgar closed the deal surrendering two hits while striking out four in three inning of work.
   Robinson, Hubbard, Edgar, Blevins, Nave an Jenkins added RBIs to the cause. Whitney Lyons the only senior on the team did an outstanding job behind the plate allowing no stolen bases on the evening.
   "This season has been so much different than last year," said Lyons. "Coach Hardin has been a great coach to play for and has made softball a lot of fun."
   Blevins added: "We have a good team and no one gets down on one another when mistakes are made. I think we will do well come tournament time."
   "I am proud of all the girls on this team," added Hardin. "We played good defense and hit the ball hard tonight. It was good to win on senior night, and especially for our only senior (Whitney Lyons)."
   "I commend her for the leadership and effort she has displayed this season. Whitney has been a joy to coach."