Not only did both teams make their way into the Round of 16 for the 2013 Eastman Invitational, the two Hawkins County schools met for the only time this season this season. The ending of the cross-county battle saw Volunteer win in a shutout, 3-0.
If this weren’t enough for a story line, add in a freshman pitcher who has performed above and beyond all season. She proceeded to set the school record in strikeouts while pitching a one-hitter.
Morgan Marshall, who earlier in the day pitched the Lady Falcons to an 8-0 win over Sullivan North, recorded 14 strikeouts without issuing a walk. Marshall had tied the school record of 13 twice this season.
Or the focus of the story could be on right fielder Cynthia Henley, whose two-hit game included a two-run home run and a triple.
Her two-run shot in the second inning would be the only offense needed. The blast followed a single by catcher Kellie Kirk.
“I’m speechless,” said Volunteer coach Jackie Strickland. “We gave Maryville a good game today and it seemed like it carried over. Cynthia had been struggling at the plate, and then what can you say about our freshman pitcher? She was spot on.”
The final run for the Lady Falcons (11-6) came in the third inning when Alex Williams scored on a sacrifice from Kenzie Dixon.Marshall, who earlier in the season pitched a no-hitter, was all smiles after the contest but quick to spread credit in the victory.
“This was a good game overall, but everybody on the team did well, just a total team effort,” she said.Cherokee’s lone hit was a sharp single by Madi McCullough in the fourth inning.
In other Eastman action, Daniel Boone has showed no signs of letting off the pedal after advancing deep into the state playoffs last season. The Lady Trailblazers (16-2) also made their way into today’s quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Cookeville.
Haley Wagner’s RBI double proved to be the difference, scoring Jaclyn Jenkins. Jenkins had reached third on a throwing error.
McKenzie Ferguson and Allie Littleton had two hits apiece. Ferguson was the winning pitcher, and Littleton scored Boone’s other run.
Quarterfinal action starts today at 11 a.m., with the championship contest set for 2:30 p.m.