no avatar

NET squad takes two from SW Virginia side

By TANNER COOK • Jun 16, 2019 at 1:48 AM

KINGSPORT — Fellowship, making new friends and playing a couple of softball games made for the objective in Saturday’s FCA Tennessee-Virginia Senior All-Star Challenge at Indian Highland Park.

There were 21 schools represented across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Although the Virginia team had plenty of opportunities, especially in the second contest, Tennessee took both games — winning 7-3 and then 3-1.

The Most Valuable Players of the first game were Sullivan East’s Chelsea Sams and Auburn’s Abby Wilson.

Sams had the only in-game home run for the Tennessee team in the opener, crushing a three-run shot in the fourth inning to blow open the game. She also had a single.

Wilson — a member of the newly crowned VHSL Class 1 champions — singled, doubled and scored once. She also emerged as the home run derby champion, edging Daniel Boone’s Megan Ackerman in a tiebreaker round after hitting two shots to the deepest part of the park with eight outs.

In the tiebreaker, Ackerman couldn’t hit any balls out before reaching the five-out limit. On her third swing, Wilson hit one over the right-field wall.

Ridgeview’s Nikole Counts went the distance in Game 1 and was effective in stages. However, she left too many balls up for the dangerous Tennessee hitters.

Ackerman started the first game for Tennessee and was roughed up a bit, surrendering two first-

inning runs. Sullivan East’s Katelyne Loudy came on in relief and pitched three solid innings, giving up only one run.

In the back end of the twin bill, the offenses were stymied by stellar pitching.

David Crockett’s Kara Weems started and found herself in a bases-loaded jam with no outs. She eventually got out of it unscathed.

The MVPs of Game 2 were the relief pitchers: Kate Pendleton of Gate City and Sydney Allen of Volunteer. Combined, they yielded only one run and five hits over the final three innings.

“It’s a great feeling to put the jersey on one more time. It feels even better after that last game at Lebanon after we lost,” Pendleton said. “It’s great meeting people that all have a love for the game. ... Some of these girls I’ve played with since I was 10 years old and it was great to get out here and play with them.”

Allen, too, was happy to build some wonderful memories.

“I was pleased with my pitching and it was fun being out here with all these different players from different schools,” she said. “It was sad to know this was the last time I’m getting to put on this jersey, but I know that I had some great times in it. I made some great memories.”