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Lady Pioneers get first win
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Taylor Grissom came up with clutch hits and Gabi Keith kept her team in the game in the circle. Those are the two constants the Warren County High School softball team has grown accustomed to early this season and those were two things that helped the Lady Pioneers pick up their first win of the season.
Playing in pool play at the Cookeville Tournament, the Lady Pioneers snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating Upperman 1-0 in six innings.
Keith pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout and Grissom came up with the game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to help Warren County pick up its first win after starting the year 0-3.
The Lady Pioneers, who lost their opening pool-play game to Smith County 4-2, have had trouble plating runs since the opening game against Oakland and the problem seemed magnified against Upperman.
Despite run support being nonexistent, Keith kept the Lady Pioneers in the game by being brilliant in the circle.
Keith shut down the Upperman bats, allowing only two hits while striking out four through six innings.
The only trouble Keith ran into during the game was in the third when Upperman led off the inning with a single. Keith’s defense came to the rescue though.
After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second and a wild pitch put the go-ahead run 60 feet away, Keith got the next batter to pop up to center field.
Chelsea Cope settled under the ball and prepared to fire home and throw the tagging runner out at the plate.
Cope’s throw arrived a little too late as catcher Morgan Frye couldn’t connect on a sweeping tag. Warren County caught a break though.
The runner missed home, giving Frye a second chance. The catcher didn’t waste the opportunity. Frye nearly knocked over the runner with a tag to get the final out and keep the game scoreless.
Warren County didn’t score until the bottom of the sixth, when the game’s time limit had already expired.
Lauren Wilkinson began the sixth with a walk, but was held at first as Cope followed by flying out.
Monica Lane battled to a full count, then was drilled in the back with the pay-off pitch to put two runners aboard and Wilkinson in scoring position.
Hitting Lane proved to be costly to Upperman. Grissom came up next and the first baseman, who homered three times in the Lady Pioneers’ season-opening loss to Oakland, lofted a deep shot to center field.
Grissom barely missed her fourth home run, but the long double gave Wilkinson more than enough time to come around and score the game-winning run.
Keith picked up her first victory of the season after taking a tough loss against Coffee County three days prior.
Cope finished with two hits to lead the Lady Pioneers, while Grissom’s game-winning double was the team’s only other hit.
Against Smith County, the Lady Pioneers bats didn’t wake up until the team had already fallen behind 4-0.
Lane was in the circle for Warren County and two errors in the first inning, along with two hits, gave Smith County an early 2-0 lead.
After getting two strikeouts to start the second, another error cost the Lady Pioneers dearly. Instead of ending the inning on a ground out, a runner reached on a wild throw and the next batter hit a two-run shot over the center-field fence to make it a four-run lead.
It was all Smith County would need as Warren County’s late rally fell short. The Lady Pioneers scored one run in the fourth when Grissom drove in Wilkinson and got their second run when Taylor Mullican swiped home in the fifth after a wild pitch, but the two-run shot by Smith County proved to be the difference.
Lane took the loss, going three innings and giving up four runs on five hits while striking out six. K.B. Cantrell pitched the fourth, allowing one hit and no runs while striking out one.
Wilkinson, Lane and Grissom had one hit each for the Lady Pioneers.

Lady Pioneers eliminated

In the final pool play game early Saturday morning, Warren County blew a five-run lead and lost 6-5 to Rossview.
The Lady Pioneers built a 5-0 lead after the first inning, but allowed five runs in the third and one more in the fourth to fall to 1-2 in pool play and 1-4 overall this season.
Warren County led off the game with back-to-back singles from Wilkinson and Cope. Lane laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners in scoring position, where they would come around to score on a double by Grissom.
Frye then put runners on the corner by reaching base on an error and was pinch-runned for by Allison Bond, who promptly stole second.
Sarah Jacobs brought in both her teammates with a single up the middle, but she wasn’t stopping at first. As the throw went home to try to get Bond, Jacobs sprinted for second. The catcher cut the throw off and tried to get Jacobs at second, but her throw ended up going all the way into center field. Jacobs got up and scooted around to score, making it 5-0.
Things were going great until the top of the third. Back-to-back hits, followed by an error, gave Rossview its first run.
Cantrell, who pitched three innings, then gave up a single to load the bases.
Warren County played back, deciding to give up a run for an out while holding a four-run lead. Wilkinson snagged a grounder at second and forced out the runner heading to third, but Rossview narrowed the gap to 5-2 on the play.
The next batter evened the game with one swing. A three-run homer over the left-field fence made it 5-5 and deflated the Lady Pioneers.
Keith entered in the fourth and after getting the first two batters out, the senior gave up back-to-back doubles as Rossview took a 6-5 lead.
Warren County had one last chance to tie when Lane reached on a walk to start the fifth, but she was stranded at second when the final out ended the game.
A single-elimination tournament followed at Cane Creek Sportsplex Saturday and the Lady Pioneers were beaten in the opening round 3-2 by Colliersville.
Warren County dropped to 1-5 with the loss, but will look to bounce back with a week full of games.
The Lady Pioneers will play host to Franklin County tomorrow night for the team’s alumni night.
All former Lady Pioneer softball players are invited to attend alumni night, which will honor the former players shortly before the varsity game.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.