The WCHS Lady Pioneer softball team showed some real toughness in its 11-3 victory over district rival Rhea County on Thursday night.
Madison Hollis was the starting pitcher, and Hollis struggled in the first inning. Rhea County took a 2-0 lead, but Warren County was not shaken. If anything, being behind strengthened the Lady Pioneers’ resolve to compete.
Madison Hollis showed toughness in the circle by not being rattled by a Rhea County home run in the top of the third inning. Hollis started the inning with a strikeout and struck out two Rhea County batters after the home run.
In the next inning, Hollis hit her own home run to deep center field, which felt like a boxer retaliating against an opposing boxer after a knockdown.
Unlike Rhea County’s solo homer, Hollis knocked in Rhealee Johnson for a two-run homer.
The Lady Eagles of Rhea County made a lot of contact at the plate, and the Lady Pioneer defense was impressive. When runners were on base, the Lady Pioneers made some excellent plays such as Alyssa Mosley throwing out a runner at home on a fielder’s choice. Warren County has solid gloves and arms in the infield. Rhealee Johnson made some exceptional stops and throws at the hot corner.
Hollis’ home run added some positive energy to the Lady Pioneers who went out in the next inning and eliminated the Rhea County batters three in a row. When Warren County next came to bat, the Lady Pioneers scored 4 more runs to put the game out of reach.
There is some fight in this Lady Pioneer team, and it is evident in how they respond when they are behind in a game. The team has a confident attitude coupled with a desire to wipe an opponent out. They outhit Rhea County 15-10. The team is well-coached and fun to watch.
HEAD COACH COMMENTS
WCHS head coach Gooby Martin had good things to say about both teams after the game. Martin said, “They swung the bat well; we swung the bat well. It was a tough district game, and we knew it was going to be tough. It was good to get out with a win tonight.”
Coach Martin was asked about White County having a good pitcher and good team. Gooby replied, “So do we!”
LADY PIONEERS COMMENTS
The two pitchers for Warren County were available for comments after the game. They were asked about the game. Madison Hollis said, “I think it was good, but I didn’t do my best. I gave up some hits, a home run.”
Hollis was asked about her own home run and how many she has hit. Hollis replied, “That is 23 total. That was my third (this season).”
When asked how she felt when she came into the game to pitch, Sadie Simmons said, “I just didn’t want to blow an 8-run lead!”
Both Lady Pioneers were glad to have a district win, and Sadie Simmons said, “We will just have to wait and see what everyone has.”
LADY PIONEER HITTERS
Taylor Swan 2, Aleya Esparza 2, Elia Atterson 2, Shelby Roberts 2, Madison Hollis 2, Alyssa Mosley 2, Sadie Simmons 1, Rhealee Johnson 1 and Cadie Todd 1. Producing RBIs were Elia Atterson 3, Madison Hollis 3, Rhealee Johnson 1, Alyssa Mosley 1 and Kaydee Rains 1.
LADY PIONEER PITCHERS
Madison Hollis pitched 5 innings with 6 strikeouts, giving up 9 hits and 3 earned runs. Sadie Simmons pitched 1 inning with 2 strikeouts, giving up 1 hit and no runs.