Softball All Stars avoid elimination

Jayce Ferguson gets after a ground ball.

Katelyn Combs runs to third for the put out.

Photos by Allen Earl | Claiborne Progress London Noe gets the game-winning walk off RBI.

Kylie Cupp takes a big swing.

The second day of the District 6 All Star softball tournament began with a blowout as Maryville had little trouble getting the win over Bean Station by the final score of 20-9 during the ages 7-8 competition.

The New Tazewell 7-8 All Stars were the first of the local teams to play on the second day. The coach pitch game began with great weather including much welcome cool temperatures. Grainger All Stars were a good team capable of handing the New Tazewell team a loss but the home team had to win to avoid elimination. The Grainger team struck first during the top of the first to lead 1-0 and put the pressure on New Tazewell to respond. Jayla Bolstridge singled and London Noe began her great day with a single also. Erica Keck had an RBI single as well as Jayce Ferguson. The two RBI put New Tazewell out front 2-1.

Grainger added five runs during the top of the second and led 6-2. New Tazewell needed to respond but failed to do so during their half of the inning.

Grainger kept busy at the plate and scored two more runs in the top of the third extending their lead to 8-2. Needing a quick response, Bolstridge, Noe, Avery Ferguson and Keck got the ball into the holes of the defense to begin a rally. Kolie Murdock and Katelyn Combs finished the rally with big hits that put the home team back into the game at 8-7.

During the top of the fourth inning, the gritty Grainger team added three more runs making the score 11-7 and looked to have the momentum shifted in their favor. New Tazewell hit the ball well and Emma Hoskins even smacked a double but they did not manufacture a run.

Grainger’s offense stumbled as well during the top of the fifth inning and did not score. Still behind 11-7, the New Tazewell team stormed back. Keck, Murdock, Kylie Cupp and Combs combined to lead a comeback that ended with the home team leading 12-11.

Grainger tied the game at 12 during the top of the sixth setting up a great opportunity for New Tazewell to win at their final at bat. Hoskins singled and with two outs Noe became the hero of the day by smashing a walk off, game winning hit that ended the game 13-12 in thrilling fashion. With the win, the New Tazewell All Stars advanced in the tournament.

Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.

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