E-National bounces back to win Arthur Lady Invite

from staff reports


   JOHNSON CITY -- Winning the Arthur Lady Invitational didn't seem likely after dropping their first game in the tournament, but the Elizabethton National 9-10 All-Stars were clearly up to the challenge.
   Racking up five straight victories, capped by back-to-back wins over Johnson City National on Saturday, 'Betsy brought home championship honors from the annual Little League event.
   Taking on Johnson City National, last year's state runner-up, in the postseason opener, Elizabethton absorbed a 5-4 loss despite Michael Hutchins' three-run homer, his first Little League roundtripper.
   Jordan Hodges added two hits in the loss.
   Knowing that one more defeat would mean elimination, Elizabethton started to fight back with a 19-7 victory over Johnson City American.
   Joe Guinn was the main man on the hill, getting the win, and joined Derek Mann, Jacob Davis and Stacey Sheffield with three hits apiece.
   Hutchins, Cody Hyder, Casey Sheffield and Drew Chambers tacked on two hits apiece for the winners.
   From there, 'Betsy captured a 3-0 defensive struggle with Johnson City Major behind a four-hit shutout from Chambers, who struck out 11 batters.
   Mann led the sticks with a pair of hits, and Hyder popped a triple.
   Elizabethton was able to breathe easier in the next game, taking a 15-2 decision from Fairview.
   Hodges had a nice three-hit day, while Hutchins contributed a two-hit effort. Guinn recorded his second pitching win of the tourney, with Ethan Fleenor pitching well in relief and adding a base hit.
   That brought 'Betsy back into the championship round on Saturday. Elizabethton first avenged its only setback with an 8-4 win over Johnson City as Mann got the job done on the mound, and Hodges banged out a couple of hits.
   Hutchins chipped in a pair of RBIs, with Logan Loving going 1-for-1.
   After forcing a deciding game with J.C.N., Elizabethton really turned on the jets. The E-town boys rolled to a 13-1 triumph as Chambers, a lefty, tossed a one-hitter and fanned a dozen batters.
   Chambers and Guinn both smacked their first Little League homers, with Chambers knocking a three-run shot and Guinn a two-run blast. Both players accounted for three hits, as did Hodges and Casey Sheffield.
   Stacey Sheffield had a pair of hits.