If Tuesday night’s game against Coffee County was a measuring stick for coach David Upton’s Lady Pioneer softball team, then Warren County still has a ways to go to be the best in District 6-AAA.
The Lady Raiders were dominant from start to finish, as Warren County was run-ruled 10-0 in five innings by the defending district champions.
The Lady Pioneers entered their game against the Lady Raiders as winners of six straight, but the team that showed up at Warren County High School softball field Tuesday night played like a different squad.
Warren County committed seven errors and junior pitcher Gabi Keith walked four batters and hit two more as the Lady Pioneers struggled mightily against the Lady Raiders. It was a far cry from the team coach Upton came into the season thinking would hang its hat on defense and pitching.
Coffee County was able to go up from the very start, as the second batter for the Lady Raiders tripled over right fielder Peyton Hall’s head. The next batter came up with a grounder to second baseman Lauren Crothers, which easily scored the runner.
Warren County went without a hit in the first inning, giving Coffee County a chance to increase its lead. The Lady Raiders did just that, as they put four runs on the board in the second inning.
Keith ran into trouble when she led the inning off by hitting the first batter. It was followed by Crothers failing to snag a ball thrown by third baseman Sarah Jacobs on a bunt attempt. Keith walked the next batter, loading the bases.
The next batter sent a shot back up the middle, scoring two runs. Another single loaded the bases back up, then Keith struggled to find the strike zone. A walk allowed one run to score, then Keith hit the next batter on the first pitch.
By the time Lauren Wilkinson snagged a sharply hit line drive at shortstop, the Lady Raiders had built a 5-0 lead.
Warren County tried to get a two-out rally going in the second when Monica Lane walked and Chelsea Cope followed with a single, but the Lady Pioneers’ two base runners were stranded.
Coffee County added two more runs in the third inning, putting Warren County into a seven-run hole. The Lady Pioneers once again threatened in the third inning when Wilkinson and Lindsey Rowland put together back-to-back hits, but Taylor Grissom’s hot shot into left field went right to the Coffee County outfielder, ending the rally.
The Lady Raiders put the final touches on their fourth district win by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth. Warren County’s defense fell apart in the inning. Coffee County took advantage of four fielding errors to score three runs and take a 10-run lead.
Wilkinson got her second hit, and one of just four for Warren County, in the bottom of the fifth, but it was too little, too late. Wilkinson never got close to scoring and the game ended when Jacobs grounded out to second base.
The Lady Pioneers had hoped to bounce back quickly with a district win at White County last night, but the game was postponed due to rain.
Warren County will also sit out today, as the 1 p.m. day game against Lincoln County was postponed due to poor weather and field conditions.
The Lady Pioneers will return to action this Sunday when they play host to Shelbyville.
The game at Warren County High School will begin at 2 p.m.