Lady Trojans top Blue Devils in Mountain 7 semis

Kevin Mays • May 20, 2019 at 9:00 PM

BRISTOL, Va. — John Battle picked up where it left off, finishing off its Mountain 7 District softball tournament semifinal game with Gate City in about an hour Monday at Battle Hill.

In a game suspended Saturday because of lightning storms after 3½ innings and the Lady Trojans (17-3) up 5-0, the home team walked away with a 6-0 victory over the Lady Blue Devils (12-8) and advanced to Thursday’s tournament title game.

Battle will meet Ridgeview (12-9) for the championship. The teams had a couple of hotly contested matchupsduring the regular season.

On April 23 at Battle, the Lady Trojans came away with an 8-6 win that went 12 innings. Just a week later at Ridgeview, the Wolfpack handed the Mountain 7 regular-season champions their only district loss of the season. Ridgeview used a seven-run fourth inning to pull away for a 9-3 victory in that April 29 meeting.

“It was the best game we played all season,” Ridgeview coach Kent Grant said Saturday after his team defeated Union to advance to the title game.

John Battle coach Hannah Cress knows the final will be a challenge.

“We’ve played them hard and they’ve played us hard. The top two teams in the conference are going to show off,” Cress said. “They have a good pitcher and they have a few girls that can really swing (the bat). It should be a good game.”


Despite the loss, Gate City’s season is far from over.

The Lady Blue Devils will face Union (11-7) on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Mountain 7’s consolation game at Battle Hill.

Gate City has the fourth seed for next week’s Region 2D tournament, and coach Cara Noe knows her team has to be at its best the rest of the way.

“Thursday’s game is big for us to get some momentum going into next week,” Noe said. “Hopefully, we can play well and build our confidence up. From here on out everybody we play is good and we’ve got to play our best ball.”


The lone run of Monday’s semifinal game came in the sixth. Caroline Hensley singled, moved to second on a sacrifice from Peyton Crowder and scored on an RBI single by Haylee Dye.

“We relied on (pitcher) Madison (Hill). We didn’t hit as well. We’ve got to work on that because we’ve got Ridgeview Thursday,” Dye said.

Hill continued the gem she started on Saturday. In three innings Monday, she struck out seven Gate City batters.

In total, Hill gave up three hits with 13 strikeouts and four walks.

“We played much better tonight defensively than we did Saturday,” Noe said. “If we can play good defensively then we give ourselves a shot. Unfortunately, Madison threw really well today and threw really well Saturday. Her changeup was working and it kept us off at the plate and we just weren’t able to adjust.”


Dye finished 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three RBIs and Maggie Deel went 3-for-4 for Battle. Emma Harmon and Hensley both finished 2-for-3 with Harmon adding two RBIs and Hannah McReynolds hitting a solo homer.

Gate City got hits from Taylor Blevins, Kinslee Hammonds and Abby Davidson.