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First win for softball
Photos courtesy of Painted Barn Media Kora Forbes threw a complete game in Monday's 6-2 win over Cookeville at home.
Photos courtesy of Painted Barn Media Jessie Young locks in on a grounder at third during Monday's victory.

It may not be the matchup that determines a district champion like it was in the past, but the Lady Pioneers never need much motivation to gear up for Cookeville. Warren County was more than ready to make a big first impression at home against the Lady Cavs Monday.

With Kora Forbes dealing in the circle, Jessie Young and Maggy Whiles leading an opportunistic offense and the defense making big plays, Warren County was able to top Cookeville 6-2. It was the first victory for the Lady Pioneers, who lost a pair of matchups in Murfreesboro over the weekend to begin the year.

Coach Gooby Martin knew the Lady Pioneers would need to learn on the fly this year after losing four all-district players from last year’s lineup, but it seems like his young squad didn’t need long to grasp onto the keys of the game.

“The way we played is going to be how we win games this season. Kora threw the ball well, we had some timely hits and didn’t commit any errors,” said Martin, now in his eighth season at WCHS. “That’s a winning formula. We need to get to a point where we can do that on a consistent basis.”

After falling to Oakland 9-4 and Riverdale 7-5 Saturday, Warren County had to regroup in a hurry. In the losses, the Lady Pioneers had eight errors and couldn’t come up with clutch hits to pile up big innings. The offense and defense had a big bounce back against the Lady Cavs.

Warren County scored in each of the first three innings Monday, capped by Young’s two-out, two-run triple in the third that made it 4-1. 

Whiles, one of three sophomores in the starting lineup, gave the Lady Pioneers more breathing room in the fifth inning. 

She hit a towering shot to deep left field, sending two Cookeville outfielders chasing. Annabelle Reinitz and Brooke Wilson circled the bases to score on the double as Warren County went up 6-1.

Cookeville scratched across a run in the sixth, but Dallis Melton made sure the Lady Cavs didn’t create any drama in the seventh. The senior right fielder had the defensive highlight of the night, ranging into the gap to snag a line drive off her shoestring in the final inning.

Forbes was able to get the next batter to ground out, ending a night where the senior surrendered just seven hits and striking out four while going the distance.

It was a huge confidence booster for the Lady Pioneers, especially with it coming against a group that Warren County has spent years battling for bragging rights.

“It was a big win for us. Cookeville is always a tough game,” said Martin.

Young, Whiles and Jaz Ward all had two hits in Monday’s win, while Ky Damon and Alyssa Mosley added one hit apiece.

Warren County will get a chance to test its growth and depth the rest of the week while it stays busy in the Southern Warrior Classic in Murfreesboro. The Lady Pioneers are scheduled to play six games over three days, starting with a matchup Thursday at 2 p.m. with East Peoria, Ill. 

Warren County is also scheduled to face Blackman (Friday at 4 p.m.), the Castle Knights from Indiana (Saturday at noon), Tullahoma (Saturday at 2 p.m.), Beech (Saturday at 4 p.m.) and the Normal West Wildcats from Illinois (Saturday at 6 p.m.).