IRS lassoes Minor League crown in CCL

By Marvin Birchfield

   The season for Carter County Minor League softball wrapped up Friday night with Insurance Restoration Service winning the title over Beauty Unlimited in a 19-8 final.
   IRS captured a big lead in the top of the first, but Beauty Unlimited made a rally in the top of the third to keep the game interesting.
   After some solid defense from IRS to start the fourth frame, the team was able to put the game away in the bottom of the inning and claim the season's finale.
   "It was back and forth, our girls hit the ball well and hustled," said Insurance Restoration Systems coach Jeff Williams. "They've beat us three times this year and we've beat them three times also, so it's always a good game."
   The contest began with Haley Bowers smacking a hit to bring home Joanna Fontz and Lindsey Proffitt for Beauty Unlimited.
   Insurance Restoration Systems came back to ring up eight runs and take an 8-2 lead at the end of the first inning.
   It began with an in-the-park homer by Kelsea Simmons, who nailed a line drive to center field.
   Tara Shamarodi crushed a double down the left-field line to score Bethany Williams and Megan Hyatt, which gave them a two run lead at that point.
   The last two runs for IRS of the first inning came when Simmons connected on another shot to center field to drive in Tesa Hodge and Jessica Poarch.
   Both teams defenses held in the second frame, but a good inning for Beauty Unlimited came in the top of the third.
   The comeback started when Bowers knocked a grounder down the first-base line to score Fontz and Proffitt. An in-the-park home run by Kristin Mathes brought home Brooke Westberry, while Amber Blevins scored on a wild pitch to tie the contest.
   "It's been a long season and the IRS team has been a tough challenge all year long," said Beauty Unlimited coach Stacey Hicks. " "We enjoy playing them, but they just came out on top tonight.
   "Both teams played a good game."
   IRS responded by cashing in on five runs in the bottom of the third with a shot from Hyatt that scored Whitney Hyatt and Williams to give them a little breathing room.
   Beauty Unlimited captured just two runs in the fourth when base hits from Robyn Miller and Fontz brought home Emily Perry and Nicole Baumgardner.
   IRS was too much in the bottom of the frame as it collected a total of 11 runs with a three-run triple, which scored Simmons Whitney Hyatt and Williams to put the 10-run rule into effect, from Jenny Ketterman.
   "We tied for first in the season and came in first in the tournament, so it was a pretty good season," said IRS coach Susan Williams. "We only had five player back from last year, so it was good for a pretty new team."
   Iron Mountain Survey 16
   Chappell's Pest Control 1
   It was a lop-sided event in the consolation game, with Iron Mountain winning in a 16-1 final over Chappell's.
   In only its second win of the year, Iron Mountain came out on fire by acquiring a 10-0 lead after the first inning.
   "Our girls came through tonight, and they really did a good job. We only had nine players, so I'm really proud of them," said Iron Mountain Survey manager Kathy Pierce.
   Hits by Iron Mtn. came from Kayla Withrow, who connected on two singles, and Mikayla Pierce.
   The six runs that scored in the top of the second from Iron Mtn. were the result of walks.
   One run was captured by Chappell's in the bottom of the second, when four consecutive walks brought home Kathy Winters.
   "This was just our second win of the season and we've had some ups and downs this season -- we lost players early in the year to other teams," said Pierce. "We've got new players this year, but we were able to come away with third place this year so it's great."
   Minor League Baseball
   Birchfield's Construction 7
   Simmons' Roofing & Vinyl 6
   The championship game between Birchfield's Construction and Simmons' Roofing & Vinyl was forced to Wednesday, after Birchfield's Construction squeaked out a 7-6 victory.
   Simmons' captured two runs in the top of the first coming from Damon Lewis and Ricky Berry.
   Birchfield's came back to take a one-run lead after Tyler Carr nailed a three-run homer to bring in Jimmy Lee Ritchie and Daniel Fleenor.
   Simmons' grabbed a one-run advantage after the second frame, but it was Birchfield's coming back in the bottom of the third, with Carr and Fleenor making their way home to force the series to a deciding game.