The senior night softball game barely lasted longer than the pregame festivities.
On a night where three seniors played their final game at home, Warren County High School thumped Stone Memorial in four innings, winning 15-0 over the Lady Panthers.
Hope Mullican, Lexie Chadwell and Kyra Hillis played big parts in the blowout victory, with the seniors combining for eight hits and five RBIs in the Lady Pioneers’ seventh straight win. It was indicative of their contributions for the last two seasons, where Warren County has established itself as one of the best teams in the Midstate.
“These three seniors have been great for our program. They’ve gotten better each season,” said coach Gooby Martin. “They have a season championship and co-season championship in the last two years. It’s something to be proud of.
“They are all having their best seasons as seniors. They will be missed on and off the field.”
Maddie Cantrell earned the victory, throwing her first shutout of the season while holding the Lady Panthers to just four hits in her four innings of work.
Cantrell needed only 45 pitches to shut down Stone Memorial, especially when the Lady Pioneers got rolling at the plate in the fourth inning.
Warren County carried a 5-0 advantage into the fourth before showing off one of the most explosive offenses in District 6AAA.
The seniors sparked a 10-run inning, with Mullican and Hillis rocketing shots into the outfield got singles. Bri Young to the scoring started with a rip into left field, allowing both seniors to score.
Ashton Whiles continued the onslaught, rattling the left-field fence with a double over the retreating Lady Panther outfield. Whiles move to third on a grounder, then proceed to swipe home on a passed ball.
Trailing 9-0, Stone Memorial had a chance to get out of the inning on a potential double-play ball, but MaKenna Mason showed off her wheels to beat the throw to first. It was the last shot the Lady Panthers would get at retiring the Lady Pioneers.
Hailey Wood and Emily Mikkola loaded the bases with singles, bringing the seniors back to the plate. Mullican scored one run when she was hit by a pitch, while Hillis made it 12-0 with a shot into right field to bring in Wood and Mikkola.
Young followed with her second two-run single of the frame, a laser into right field that put her into scoring position when she advanced to second on a throw home – one too late to get Hillis.
Rhealee Johnson provided the final blow, rocking another deep fly into centerfield. The one-hopper off the fence gave Young more than enough time to come in for the winning run.
The thrill of victory didn’t last long for the Lady Pioneers though. On Wednesday, Rhea County used a six-run sixth inning to down Warren County 8-4 in the final district game for both teams.
The Lady Pioneers would have clinched their second straight District 6AAA title with the victory, but the loss dropped Warren County into a three-way tie for first with Rhea County and Cookeville. The tiebreaker left the Lady Pioneers as the third seed in the district tournament, which begins Friday.
Warren County will try to get its revenge Friday against Rhea County in an opening round matchup at White County. The Lady Pioneers and Lady Eagles will square off at 5 p.m.