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Clarksville, TN – For the third time in three days, the Clarksville High Lady Wildcats and the Northeast Lady Eagles faced off. But this time, after the last echo of a softball coming off an aluminum bat faded and the red dust kicked up from slides settled, a District 10-AAA Tournament Champion was crowned.
The Lady Wildcats held off a late rally by the Lady Eagles to win the final District 10-AAA Tournament Championship game, 8-6.
McKenzie Rose hit a three-run homer in her first at bat to give the Lady Wildcats a 4-1 lead at the bottom of the first inning. Going into the sixth, the Lady Wildcats had expanded their lead to 6-2.“I’m glad I have Heather Norris on the mound.”
That is what Lady Wildcat’s head coach Brian Rush said he was thinking as the Lady Eagles chipped away at his team’s lead in the top of the sixth inning.
The Lady Eagles plated two runs in the sixth and added two more in the seventh as their rally closed the gap to 8-6. With two outs and the bases loaded, Norris faced Ciara Aragon who had already hit two RBIs previously in the game.
Aragon hit a pop fly, easily fielded for the out and the Lady Wildcats began to celebrate as the 2014 District 10-AAA Tournament Champions.
“This was the fifth time we played them this year. We know each other. They have scored double digits on us this year. We have scored double digits on them,” Rush said. “We knew at 4-1, the lead wasn’t safe. At 8-3, we felt like those two runs were huge. I think we scraped that out the bottom of our lineup. Heather got the big hit. I thought that was a huge at bat for us. It really made that last inning go easier.”
Norris pitched the complete game for another win. She allowed six runs from eight hits and struck out four. Norris also hit a RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth to increase her team’s lead back to four runs after the Lady Eagles had closed the gap down to two.
Alicia Veltri picked up the loss. She pitched three innings, allowing six runs from six hits.
Rose hung four of those runs on Veltri. After her three-run homer in the first, she literally hit third base with a line drive for an RBI single in the third to increase the Lady Eagles lead to 5-1.
Rose and Norris were two of five Lady Wildcats with RBIs in the game.
Ericka Webster led the charge offensively for the Lady Eagles. She batted 4-for-4 on the day with 3 RBIs.
Veltri ignited the last inning rally for the Lady Eagles by hitting a single. Next, Veltri advanced to second as her teammate Dominique Todd reached first on an error. Then, Autumn Adams brought Veltri in on a single hit to right field. Webster added another run with an RBI single up the middle.
Two batters later, Kayla Bradley hit a single to load the bases with two outs and her team down by only 2 and the rally ended with a pop fly hit by Aragon.
Both teams will advance to play in regional competition. Starting Monday, May 12th, the Lady Wildcats will host a game against the District 9-AAA Tournament Runner up and the Lady Eagles will travel to play the District 9-AAA Tournament Champions.
“Those are three good teams we are getting ready to face. I don’t know which two will come out of there,” Rush said. “ We have faced Hendersonville, we faced Beech and we watched Wilson Central play. It is going to take our biggest effort to get it done. We are going to come out focused, try to hit the ball as well as we can, try to pitch as well as we can and make all the plays we can in the field.”
Marlon Scott is a freelance journalist and writer. He graduated from Austin Peay State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Communications, majoring in Communication Arts with a concentration in print and web journalism.
His writing career began as a sports writer for The All State, the APSU student newspaper, in 2006. He continued working for the paper until his graduation, serving in various positions including Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief.
In 2010, Scott contributed stories and photographs as well as designed and served as Editor-in-Chief for the monograph, Civic Art of Clarksville: The stories behind the pieces.
Scott has also produced 60 stories for The Leaf Chronicle.
You can find him on twitter @theMarlonScott and on Facebook
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