Senior Will Dyer put the Hilltoppers ahead early, making quick work of his match at No. 6 singles.
“They brought their A-game, but we matched their intensity, their effort and their energy,” Science Hill coach Kelly Lane said. “You can’t say enough about senior Will Dyer. He set the tone early to win his singles match 6-1, 6-0 to get the first point on the board. To get us ahead, you can put a number on how big that was.”
The Vikings won the top two matches with Stone Cozart beating Griffen Nickels 6-0, 7-6 at the No. 1 spot and David Bieger downing Chris Morton 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.
Led by the Johnson brothers, Isaac and Jacob, the Hilltoppers cleaned up with the rest of the singles matches and led 4-2 heading into doubles. Drew Keith and Dyer clinched the match with an 8-3 win over Ethan Owens and Jonah Mai at No. 3 doubles.
Isaac Johnson was a 6-3, 6-1 singles winner, Jacob Johnson triumphed 6-3, 6-0 and Keith won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5 singles.
“Watching Stone and David Bieger, we don’t take that for granted because you don’t see talent like that all the time,” Lane said. “You look at how Griffen took him to a second-set tiebreaker and then Chris Morton’s match was closer than you might think from the score before there were a lot of closely contested points. But, it took a total team effort and I was proud of all the guys, up and down the lineup.”
The Science Hill girls also won 5-4 over Tennessee High. With Tuesday’s win, it sets up a showdown in a couple of weeks when the Hilltoppers and Vikings will likely face off with the Big Seven Conference title on the line.
Richlands, Va. 6
ELIZABETHTON—To say Lauren Brickey hit for power would be quite an understatement.
The Lady Cyclones’ softball standout homered not once, not twice but three times as Elizabethton pinned a loss on Richlands (Va.).
Acknowledging Brickey’s performance, which included seven RBIs, as “awe-inspiring stuff,” veteran EHS coach Ken Hardin couldn’t recall one of his players, present or past, ever producing three round-trippers in a single outing.
Brickey, who finished 3 for 5 with three runs, clubbed a three-run homer in the third to erase a 1-0 Richlands edge, unleashed a solo shot an inning later and had another three-run job in the sixth to put ’Betsy up 12-4. She wasted no time on her final blast, depositing the first pitch over the center-field fence.
Kaylin Shell and Maci West both doubled twice for EHS, with West scoring on two occasions. Macie Herrmann coupled two hits with a trio of runs, Haley Fair batted 2 for 4 and Kira Dillard went 1 for 2 and drew two walks.
Elizabethton supported pitcher Kellie Cunningham with 15 hits.
“It was just a good day for us,” Hardin said. “Richlands has a really good team. We hadn’t been playing real well, so maybe this will kickstart our hitting a little bit.”
Cunningham surrendered 10 hits in the game, but much of that was due to the Blue Tornado’s offensive aptitude.
“Kelly threw the ball really well tonight,” Hardin said.
David Crockett 5
Kara Weems was very much in charge Tuesday afternoon, hurling a no-hitter against Big Seven Conference foe Dobyns-Bennett.
Wrapping up her gem in 95 pitches, Crockett’s pitching ace struck out six batters, issued a pair of walks and hit one batter. She also aided her cause from an offensive standpoint, batting 2 for 3.
The Lady Pioneers, who trailed before pushing across two runs in the fifth, piled up 15 hits against the Tribe. Reagan Miller went 3 for 4, Sydney Fox finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs and Maddie McKee scored twice in a 1-for-1 effort.
MacKenzie Baldwin contributed a double.
Science Hill 1
Erin Forgety and Sejal Neas waged a bona fide pitching duel, with Forgety’s Lady Chiefs coming out on top.
Forgety kept the Lady Hilltoppers off the scoreboard till Neas socked an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning. Yielding just three hits, she totaled nine strikeouts and issued no walks.
Neas allowed a half-dozen hits, giving up a run in the third and one in the fourth. She struck out six batters, walked two and went 2 for 3 at the dish.
Cherokee received a 2 for 3 showing from Paisley Lyons.
Sullivan East 9
Johnson County 0
MOUNTAIN CITY—Chelsea Sams had a day to remember for the Lady Patriots, cranking out three home runs in a 4-for-4 output.
Cayden Bawgus (2 for 3) and Kylie Wolfe also homered for East. Katelyne Loudy batted 2 for 4 in support of Jillian Shackleford, who hurled a two-hitter.
Emmy Miller and Bella Miller had a hit apiece for the Lady Longhorns.
University High 4
Sullivan North 3
Kensington Dailey struck out 17 batters and Alaina Alba had a walk-off RBI single, leading the Lady Bucs to a Watauga Valley Conference victory.
Dailey held North to one earned run and scored twice herself.
Daniel Boone 15
Tennessee High 1
Ashley Starnes had a two-run home run and McKenna Dietz added a three-run double as the Lady ’Blazers rolled past the Vikings in a five-inning affair.
MaKenna Dance added a run-scoring double for Boone.
Nickolette Ferguson pitched the first three innings for Boone, giving up one hit. Megan Ackerman closed out the last two innings, giving up one hit as well.
Boone is 18-8 overall and 3-0 in the Big 7.
HAMPTON—John “Boy” Ramsey pitched a one-hitter and banged out a pair of hits as the Rangers picked up a Watauga Valley Conference triumph.
Ramsey came within two outs of a no-hitter, allowing only Brett Deaton’s seventh-inning single. He amassed 10 strikeouts while walking three batters and plunking one.
Leadoff man Isaac Hill batted 3 for 4 with a double for the Rangers, who got two hits from Bryson Street.
Hampton’s Dru Owens did a commendable job from the mound in a 6 1/3-inning effort, and neither team committed an error.
“It was a good baseball game,” said Hampton coach Nick Perkins. “You have to tip your cap to (Ramsey).”
Unaka will host Hampton at 4:30 p.m. today in a makeup game from Monday.
David Crockett 13
A wild finish ended with the Pioneers claiming their first Big Seven Conference victory of the year.
While Crockett combined for a dozen runs during innings four through six, the Chiefs put up nine runs between the sixth and seventh.
Grady Cash coaxed a half-dozen RBIs out of a 2-for-5 performance that included a double. Landon Quillen was 2 for 4 with two runs, Devin Foster had two doubles in four at-bats, Luke Adams (2 runs) and Brodie Fox both knocked in two runs and Jacob Jenkins scored three times.
Ethan Crowder, Steve Owen, Nick Collins, Japheth Curtsinger and Conner Burke all had two RBIs for the Chiefs. Crowder was good for two hits.
University High 7
Sullivan North 2
Jakob Hare had two hits, including a double, and Cas Blevins failed to yield an earned run in seven innings as the Junior Bucs opened a doubleheader sweep over North with a victory.
Blevins, who accumulated seven strikeouts as he limited the Golden Raiders to five hits, also drove in two runs. Carter Pollock had a run-scoring double for University High, which took advantage of five errors by the Golden Raiders.
A.J. Simerly added two runs, a hit, a walk and a sacrifice.
University High 16
Sullivan North 0
Led by Jakob Hare’s 4-for-4, 3-RBI outburst, the Junior Bucs were in dominant form in Game 2.
Highlighting Hare’s showing were a pair of triples, plus he accounted for two runs. A.J. Simerly tripled and amassed four RBIs in a 2-for-4, 2-run contribution from the top of the UH lineup.
Cas Blevins, Pollock and Jake Oligny had two hits apiece in the five-inning win. Blevins and Hunter Seehorn (double) each drove in three runs, and both of Pollock’s hit were doubles.
Winner Jack Bembry racked up seven strikeouts over four innings, Esau Byrd struck out the side in the fifth and the Golden Raiders managed only three hits.
Daniel Boone 8
Tennessee High 6
With Hunter Adams accumulated five RBIs, the Trailblazers earned a good Big Seven win over Tennessee High.
Adams homered, doubled twice and tallied two runs in a 3-for-3 effort, plus he pitched 4 1/3 innings (three earned runs) for the victory. Boone’s Eric Rigsby was 3 for 4 with a two-bagger, two runs and two RBIs.
Matt Cox and Cade Elliott each contributed two runs and a pair of stolen bases. Elliott pitched 2 2/3 innings of quality relief for a save, allowing one run (unearned).
After giving up five runs in the top of the fifth to fall behind 6-5, the ’Blazers answered with three runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Johnson County 1
MOUNTAIN CITY—Tre Shoun held the Longhorns to two hits and Evan Perkins crafted a 3-for-4, 2-RBI showing in a five-inning contest.
Johnson County’s one run off Shoun, who totaled four strikeouts against a pair of walks, was unearned.
Perkins doubled and also scored twice in his day at the park. Corey Russell and Logan Estep each had a two-bagger of his own, with Russell going 2 for 3 with three runs and Estep collecting three RBIs.
Ryan Wetzel tripled, scored twice and drove in a pair.
The Longhorns’ hits were produced by Gabe Reece and Bud Icenhour.
Sullivan East 6
Sullivan Central 4
BLUFF CITY—Brantley Ellis banged out three hits, including an RBI double, for the Patriots.
Sullivan East overcame an early 2-0 deficit with the aid of Ethan Terry’s run-scoring single and sacrifice fly.
Perry Casaday pitched six solid innings for the victory. In a save situation, Tanner Leffew struck out the last two batters with the tying run at the plate.
Veritas Christian 3
Providence Academy 2
ASHEVILLE, N.C.—Victoria Davis and Nikki Chambers had goals for the Lady Knights. Courtney Stover and Abbey Loran each supplied an assist, with Jordan Spano recording eight saves.