Coach Gooby Martin’s Lady Pioneer softball team was familiar with its opening round opponent in the Central Tennessee Conference Tournament. Warren County had played a doubleheader against White County six days before the teams met in the opening round, but coach Martin had an ace up his sleeve.
White County had trouble figuring out Lindsey Cox, who coach Martin saved for the opening round of the tournament. Cox pitched a complete game, allowing one run as the Lady Pioneers defeated the Warriorettes 6-1.
Warren County had a change of venue for the opening round, as the Lady Pioneers couldn’t play at Warren County High School softball field. Instead, the Lady Pioneers played at the friendly confines of Sam Martin Field, the place where the team practices.
With a location set for the game, Warren County went to work on advancing in the tournament. After a scoreless first inning, the Lady Pioneers struck first in the second.
It was one of coach Martin’s youngest players coming through, as sixth-grader Emily Webb hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run to put the Lady Pioneers on the board.
Webb hit a bullet into left field, which easily brought around her teammate from second. The ball took a high bounce over the White County left fielder’s head, giving Webb an opportunity for extra bases.
When the left fielder slipped at the fence as Webb was rounding second and heading to third, coach Martin decided to go for the home run. Webb beat the throw standing up, putting the Lady Pioneers up 2-0 after two innings.
The Lady Pioneers saw White County slice the lead in half in the top of the fourth as Cox ran into her only problem during the game. Walks gave the Warriorettes runners, but Cox only allowed one hit and one run as she battled out of a bases-loaded jam with two strikeouts.
Warren County quickly responded. Bailey Martin began the inning with a single and would advance to second on a steal. A single from Livia Walker put runners on the corners for Madison Mason.
Walker stole second on the first pitch to Warren County’s sixth-grade shortstop, meaning Mason had a chance to break the game open. She did just that when she laced a ball right over third base, barely staying fair.
Martin and Walker both scored, moving Warren County’s lead to three. The advantage would grow to 6-1 after two White County errors allowed the Lady Pioneers to plate two more runs.
It was all the lead Cox needed, as she wrapped up a complete game by shutting down the Warriorettes in the top of the fifth.
The win advanced Warren County into the quarterfinals, where they met Coffee County in Winchester Friday. The Lady Pioneers lost for the third time to the Lady Raiders, this time 2-0.
Undaunted, Warren County bounced back with a 10-8 win over Franklin North to stay alive in the Central Tennessee Conference tournament. The tournament wrapped up yesterday, with results unavailable at press time.
Check in Wednesday’s edition of the Southern Standard for a full recap of the Lady Pioneers tournament run.