KINGSPORT — Neither rain nor wind nor prom could keep Unicoi County’s softball team from winning its third straight Eastman Invitational championship.
The Lady Blue Devils completed the three-peat on a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon, dispatching Kingston 6-4 behind a solid pitching effort from MVP Kara Woods and timely hitting up and down the lineup.
“We were tired and I know they were, too,” Lady Blue Devils coach Grady Lingerfelt said. “This was a good win for us and a good win for our program — I’m really proud of our team.”
Unicoi County’s marathon weekend started with rain on Friday, which gave way to blustery conditions on Saturday morning. By Saturday night, Unicoi County was in the Round of 16 after going through pool play undefeated. But the Lady Devils were forced to win an elimination game against Cocke County with a lineup full of freshmen and sophomores because the juniors and seniors were all at the prom.
“We had to play a lot of young kids and we had to win that ballgame,” Lingerfelt said. “But they came to p l a y. ”
Come Sunday, Woods was back in the circle and she didn’t miss a beat. The senior pitcher mowed down Morristown East, Knox Central and Kingston in short o r d e r.
“Our strength in tournament play is that Kara is so mentally strong,” Lingerfelt said. “I guarantee she could pitch another game right now, maybe two.
“Kara’s one of a kind, and you don’t get those too often.”
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