IRS, Beauty set up battle for first place   

By Rebecca Pierson
Assistant Sports Editor

  Insurance Restoration Systems and Beauty Unlimited both came out on top to tie for first place after girls' softball action Saturday at Unaka.
  The tiebreaker game will happen on Tuesday at 5:30, as both teams are now 10-3.
  In a 19-5 win over Iron Mountain Survey Co., I.R.S. came out in the top of the first, swinging with two hits and nine runs to start off with a good lead. Iron Mountain came into the bottom of the first with a run by Danielle Jones, but a triple play made by Kelsey Simmons at second and Bethany Williams on third shut down the Iron Mountain offense for the first.
  In the second inning, Iron Mountain pitcher Emily Pierce walked Sara Shaffer, Lakisha Vines and Paige Oliver to load the bases. Danielle Jones then came to the mound to try and put the slow down on I.R.S.'s offense, but ended up walking Whitney Hyatt for an easy RBI.
  Then Tara Shahmarodi hit a grounder to Jones and was safe at first for an RBI. Tesa Hodge followed by bouncing over a double past the shortstop for two RBIs, but Shahmarodi was caught out at third. Chelsea Pate and Kelsey Simmons were then walked, loading the bases back up again.
  From there Jessica Poarch had a short hit that she mistook as a foul. She didn't run and got tagged by the catcher, and Hodge also got tagged at home as she tried to come in.
  Iron Mountain's Gabby Coffee began the bottom of the second with a double out into right-center field. I.R.S. pitcher Paige Oliver walked both Kayla Withrow and Kacei Pierce to load the bases.
  Iron Mountain got three forced runs after walking Louisa Espinoza, Cassie Shell and Shannon Withrow. Then Kelsey Simmons came to the mound to relieve Oliver.
  After Danielle Jones was out on an interference call, Myrissa Pierce grounded the ball to third for an RBI, but Shell was caught out at third. Kelly Andrews then grounded another ball to third, and Shannon Withrow was out at third.
  In the top of the third, I.R.S. would extend its lead to 14 runs, and shut down Iron Mountain in the bottom of the third to end the ballgame.
  "My hitters who haven't hit all year hit tonight," I.R.S. head coach Susan Williams said. "I am proud of all of them. I have a good group of girls and they listen to me. They are just a great group of kids."
  Beauty Unlimited 21
  Chappell's Pest Control 6
  Chappell's opened up the game with Alicia Colbaugh hitting a single. Mariah Cotter then struck out, but Kaci Bradley would get walked by Unlimited pitcher Brooke Westberry.
  Charity Honeycutt then hit a fly ball to first and it is caught for an out. Brittany Greene was then walked, loading up the bases. Colbaugh managed to steal home plate for a run before Candace Greene struck out.
  Unlimited's Robyn Miller opened up the bottom of the first with a single to right field. Miller would steal second, third and home before Lindsey Proffitt would have her fly ball caught out at third. Hayley Bowers then hit a nice double to left-center field.
  From there Brooke Westberry walked to first and Abby Kyte knocked a grounder to first for an RBI. Lindsey Hicks followed by hitting a single for an RBI with a grounder to the pitcher. Amber Blevins and Danielle Lewis would both strike out to end the first.
  In the top of the second, Chappell's would get shut out, and Unlimited would wear out its walking shoes. Unlimited went to bat 24 times and was handed 16 free passes to first. It took three pitching changes to end the inning.
  Hicks hit an inside-the-park home run to left-center field in the second. All other hits in the bottom of the second were singles.
  Chappell's didn't give up, even with a 20-run deficit. They would have one hit for four runs, but just couldn't come back from the walking spree in the second.
  "This team has been playing together for the most part for three years now," Unlimited coach Stacey Hicks said. "They know each other and they know how to cover each other. They know just what to do defensively. They come together like they always do.