Rhea Middle beats Lake Forest 9-2 to secure championship
October 4, 2017
Evensville, TN — Rhea Middle School softball team won the SETAC post season tournament title with a 9-2 win over Lake Forest in the Championship game. Rhea Middle had 9 hits in the game and benefited from 4 hit-by-pitcher and 3 errors in the game as well as a couple of walks. Michaela Taylor pitched her third good game of the tournament and limited Lake Forest to a couple of hits and struck out five.
At first, it looked like this one was going to be a tight pitching battle as neither team had much of any offense for the first 3 innings. In the 4th the Rhea Middle offense got rolling with the help of 2 hit-by-pitcher and error as Lady Eagles loaded the bases. Bailey Roberts then laced a single up the middle to score the first 2 runs of the game. Emma Ballard then looped a single over the shortstop and drove in 2 more runs to put the Lady Eagles up 4-0.
The Lady Eagles put another run across in the 5th with Marissa Ray getting the run on a solid single by Gentry. Olivia Day then drove home 2 more runs in the 4th with single and Emma Gentry had the third RBI of the inning to push the lead to 8-1. Taylor picked up the last RBI in the 6th to make the score 9-1 for Lady Eagles. Lake Forest had one run in the 7th but with their last out the dugout and field erupted into elation as this Lady Eagle team had won the championship.
New coach Staci Higgins was excited and was glad to see this team come together at the plate, in the field and on the mound for the tournament. This had not been a great regular season, but the strong finish brought home the championship trophy. Rhea Middle scored 31 runs, while only giving up 5 runs for the tournament. Michaela Taylor was dominating and the Lady Eagles found hits up and down the lineup. Taylor, Wilson and Gentry provided a lot of the pop in the first two games of the tournament but on championship night it was Ballard and Roberts coming up with clutch runs batted in for Rhea Middle.
Staci Higgins had short roster and took over the team just before season began.
Staci Higgins said, “It looks like we came together when it mattered. Been practicing 24-7 and got their game right. Everyone got their game right and started working together. Taylor was on her game.”
“Minimal errors is what happened. I saw some potential in this team when I took over the team. We had five girls coming back to lead. We had confidence when it mattered. I am proud of Bailey Roberts for stepping up in the clutch and made big plays at first base. Wilson and Gentry and Ray were solid all year long. Emma Ballard also improved a lot.”
2017 Rhea Middle School roster:
00 Emma Ballard 8th RF
26 Peyton J. Curtin 7th Util
6 Oliva B. Day 6th RF
10 Lainey M. Fitzgerald 6th Pit
11 Laila Grun 6th Util
40 Gabrielle Messer 7th 2b
30 Marissa Ray 7th CF
32 Bailey G. Roberts 7th LF
20 Michaela R. Taylor 8th Pit
14 Courtney M. Wilson 8th cat
12 Laney Poole 8th shortstop
33 Emma Gentry 8th 3b