Optimistic Lady Pioneer fans have been circling the state tournament since the end of last season. On Friday night, the Warren County High School softball team got a good look at some of the opponents it could see in May.
Warren County played its first two games in the Commando Classic, tying Mt. Juliet 3-3 and falling to 2-0 to Siegel and star pitcher Sophie Golliver.
Coach Gooby Martin knew the tournament would offer his team an opportunity to measure itself against the state’s best. Facing two region qualifiers from last season, the Lady Pioneers looked equipped for the challenge.
Junior MaKenna Mason had two hits and two RBIs against Mt. Juliet, while Elia Atterson delivered a game-tying single with two outs in the fifth before the game was called due to time limits.
Atterson finished the first game with two hits, as did Ashton Whiles. Sadie Simmons, Emily Mikkola and Rhealee Johnson all had one hit against the Lady Bears.
The Lady Stars were waiting in the next game, ready to unleash one of the nation’s best pitchers. Golliver was a leading force behind Siegel’s 32-3 run last season and the junior showed why she’s highly regarded against the Lady Pioneers.
Warren County had just two hits in the nightcap, while Golliver struck out six in the five-inning affair. Whiles and Atterson had their team’s lone hits.
Freshman Madison Hollis held her own in the circle for the Lady Pioneers, allowing just six hits and two runs while striking out two. Siegel lead-off hitter Presley Leebrick did the majority of her team’s damage, finishing 3-for-3.
Warren County 15
Cheatham County 4
Ashton Whiles had a bases-clearing triple and Savannah Cox drove in three runs a day after her birthday in Saturday morning’s big win.
The offense was clicking just 12 hours after being shut out by Siegel. The Lady Pioneers scored eight runs in the fourth inning, showing off the offense that has them in the running as one of the top teams in the Midstate.
Emily Mikkola and Rhealee Johnson had two hits in the win, including both having RBIs in the team’s fourth-inning outburst.
Hailey Wood added a hit and two RBIs, while Calyn Damon finished with one hit and one RBI.
Johnson pitched three innings to earn the victory.
Warren County 4
Freshman Madison Hollis threw six solid innings in Saturday’s second game as the Lady Pioneers picked up a tournament win. Hollis allowed just five hits while striking out eight against Cornersville.
Ashton Whiles was once again a big part of the Lady Pioneer offense, adding a two-run single in the third to start her team’s scoring. Rhealee Johnson made it 3-0 in the third with a RBI groundout.
Grace Rains added a RBI single in the fourth.
Hollis, Johnson, Hailey Wood and MaKenna Mason all had one hit against Cornersville.
William Blount 7
Warren County 6
It took until the final inning, but last year’s state qualifying 35-win team was able to edge the Lady Pioneers.
William Blount won on an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth after Warren County had rallied to tie the game at 6-6 in the fifth.
Rhealee Johnson was the catalyst during the rally, connecting on the three-run home run to knot the score.
Hailey Wood was also impressive at the dish against William Blount, finishing 2-for-3 and scoring three times. Ashton Whiles was also 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Madison Hollis and Emily Mikkola also had hits in the loss.