Firmly established as the class of the Central Tennessee Conference, the Lady Pioneers are going to get every team’s best shot each night. Coffee County happened to land a haymaker Thursday.
The Lady Raiders pulled out a 1-0 victory over Warren County, taking the first of what could be several close matchups between the CTC rivals. The rematch was scheduled for Friday night, but was postponed due to rain. It has been rescheduled to Thursday, May 14 in Manchester.
Losing its entire starting lineup was a challenge for Lady Pioneer coach Joe Damon, but nobody was going to take it easy on the local powerhouse. Warren County won the CTC championship for the second time in three years last May, continuing a string of success that has lasted most of the decade.
The young Lady Pioneers hung tough in Thursday’s tilt, showing plenty of grit despite not being able to preserve its perfect start. Warren County had the tying run on third base in the final inning, but Alyssa Mosley was left 60 feet away from sending the game into extra innings.
Warren County (2-1) fell behind on a two-out error in the second inning. The Lady Pioneers tried to catch a runner at third base, but the throw got away and allowed Coffee County to take the lead.
It proved to be the difference.
The Lady Pioneers were retired in order for the first three innings. Jessie Young broke up the perfect game in the fourth, slapping a single into right field with one out.
Young was unable to advance though as the next two batters were retired.
Mosley used patience to give her team a spark in the fifth. The shortstop drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the frame, putting pressure on the Lady Raiders.
Gracie Randolph followed with a sacrifice, pushing Mosley into scoring position. She moved to third on Dallis Melton’s grounder, but another groundout on the next pitch ended the game.
Kora Forbes took a tough loss, allowing the lone run over five innings. Forbes allowed six hits and struck out two to drop to 1-1 this season.
Next on the slate for the Lady Pioneers is a doubleheader Monday at Franklin South. Action is set to start at 5 p.m.