It was a banner day for the Lady Pioneer softball team in Cookeville on Thursday as Warren County made it 9-0 in the district to claim the championship mantle and make a statement with a 20-3 victory over the Lady Cavs.
It was a statement that hasn’t been made in Warren County High School softball for at least a quarter century, if ever, with the team grabbing the district title.
“Being season district champs, it’s huge,” said Warren County coach Gooby Martin. “It’s huge for the girls. It’s huge for the program and it’s huge for the school. I’m happy. I’m elated. The girls have bought in all season. The four years I’ve been here they’ve bought and in we’re excited. We’ve still got work to do to win a district tournament. We’re going to enjoy this win and enjoy the district championship. It’s a great night for us.”
The Lady Pioneers were in superlative form Thursday as they jumped to an early 3-0 lead over the Lady Cavs and continued their scoring drive through the top of the fourth, leaving the Lady Cavs in a 20-0 deficit in the bottom of the inning having scored 1 run in the second and 8 runs each in the third and fourth innings.
Besides racking up 20 runs in four innings, Warren County hitters connected for three home runs. Ashton Whiles homered in the third inning going 3-for-4 at the plate, with 3 runs and 3 RBIs.
Kyra Hillis homered in the fourth, also going 3-for-4 at the plate with 2 runs and 4 RBIs. Skyler Youngblood blasted a grand slam over the centerfield fence, finishing with 5 RBIs.
Lady Pioneer Neva Tackett had a sterling night going a perfect 4-for-4 with 3 runs and 6 RBIs.
All told, the Lady Pioneers collected 18 hits. Emily Mikkola (1 RBI) and Madison Mason both had 1 hit.
The Lady Cavs were kept scoreless until the bottom of the fourth where they scored all 3 runs and recorded 6 of their 8 hits. The Lady Pioneers took care of business on defense and from the mound, not committing a single error in the field with Emily Mikkola having the most chances with 6.
Warren County pitcher Maddie Cantrell did an excellent job in the circle, throwing for all four innings allowing 8 hits and 3 runs.
Cookeville averaged one pitcher per inning, throwing four in the game as the Lady Cavs couldn’t get in a rhythm.
It is uncertain if Warren County will have to play its one remaining scheduled district game with Rhea County on Wednesday, having wrapped up the district championship with the Cookeville win.
The Lady Pioneers would be motivated to win nonetheless as notwithstanding pride of place, the game -- if played -- would be their last to defend their unbeaten record and improve to 10-0 in district.
District 6-AAA standings
Warren County 9-0 12-4
Cookeville 7-3 12-9
Rhea County 4-3 10-10
Cumberland County 3-5 10-11
White County 3-7 10-8
Stone Memorial 1-9 3-13