It didn’t take long for the Warren County Middle School softball team to flex its muscles against Harris Middle School Friday.
The Lady Pioneers scored five runs in the first inning and Sarah Knowles pitched a complete game in the circle as Warren County dominated Harris Middle School 8-1.
In its first Central Tennessee Conference game, Warren County looked like a juggernaut in the opening inning. Knowles retired Harris in order to begin the game, then the Lady Pioneers took over at the plate.
Liza Harvey began the onslaught with a triple. She would score moments later when sixth-grader Madison Mason blasted a double down the third-base line.
Mason advanced to third on a passed ball, then scored shortly after when Livia Walker skied a pop fly into the right-field gap. With an assist from a sunny Friday afternoon, the pop fly couldn’t be located, giving Walker an RBI single.
Maya Denning would score Walker with a single of her own, and was followed by a single from Rylee Hilliard.
Hilliard received a courtesy runner, and Bailey Walker made the most of her chance. Walker stole second and third, then scored on a passed ball to give Warren County a 5-0 lead.
The rally, which was ignited by the return of Harvey to the Lady Pioneer lineup, was exactly how coach Gooby Martin wanted to start Friday’s game.
“It was nice to jump out early and get some runs on the board,” said Martin. “Having Liza back was a big boost, she’s one of the top hitters in our conference.”
Knowles ran into her only problem in the second inning when she hit a batter, then surrendered a double. Knowles would calmly get a ground ball by the next batter, which scored the runner from third, then followed it up with two strikeouts.
Warren County would add to its lead in the late innings when Harris gift-wrapped three runs. The Lady Pioneers scored two runs on a throwing error, then added its final run on walks.
The win was a big morale boost for the Lady Pioneers and was an indication to coach Martin that his team is learning how to win.
“Friday was a big win, and we did it with defense and pitching,” said Martin. “We hit the ball well, but our solid defense stood out.”
Warren County will return to the field Tuesday when they play host to DeKalb County. The Lady Pioneers, who play their home games at Warren County High School, will take on the Lady Saints at 5 p.m. and a junior varsity game will follow.