BRISTOL, Tenn — Daniel Boone kept streaking as Jaclyn Jenkins added to her remarkable freshman season on Thursday night at Rotary Park.
Behind the tournament MVP’s one-hitter, the Lady ’Blazers (35-6) won their fifth straight District 1-AAA softball title with a 2-0 victory over Dobyns-Bennett (25-17). It was the 20th straight district win for Daniel Boone.
“The numbers look good if you step back and look at them,” Boone head coach Rick Wagner said. “I’m probably the only one who looks at them like that. They (the players) don’t have a clue.
“I thought tonight we didn’t run the bases well. We weren’t coached very well. I made a lot of mistakes and our approach at the plate wasn’t very good. But, the defense was great and Jaclyn was great.”
Jenkins saw a no-hitter ruined with two outs in the seventh inning, when Marissa Honeycutt ripped a single to left field.
Sandwiched between walks by Abby Stratton and Courtney Wilcox, she faced a bases-loaded situation. However, a fly out to the outfield ended the threat and gave Boone the victory.
“I was just happy to get the win,” Jenkins said. “We were working the corners and then jamming them. God has blessed me with so much.”
Tribe starter Brianna Patterson gave way to Honeycutt in the fifth inning. Patterson was tagged with the loss. Still, the pitching duo was solid throughout as the Lady Indians only gave up five hits.
It was the offensive end where D-B head coach Andy Hubbard felt the game was lost.
“We didn’t swing the bats today,” he said. “We came in a little bit flat. I think the earliest we’ve been home this week is 10:30, but we competed to the end. Boone’s such a good team and plays good defense, but we gave ourselves a chance against a real good team. I’m proud of my kids. They battled and played hard all the way to the last pitch. What more can you ask for?”
Kayla Sanders led off with a double and later scored off a fielding error for a 1-0 Boone lead in the bottom of the first.
A pair of errors in the fifth inning put two Boone runners on base. The Lady ’Blazers were unable to capitalize, but they took advantage in the sixth after McKenzi Ferguson’s singled to lead off the inning.
A pair of ground outs advanced pinch runner Abby Harrison to third where Meredith Good came through with a RBI single to center field.
“I saw that pitch and my eyes lit up,” said Good, a junior second baseman. “The bat before that, coach told me to hit it between one of the outfielders.
“I definitely didn’t do that at that at-bat, but this time I knew I had to go for it because we needed that extra run.”
Good had hit well during the regular season, but had been going through a mini-slump in the tournament.
“It feels a lot better, about time,” Good said. “That last at-bat, I felt I owed it to them.”
Sanders was also instrumental in the Boone championship. The all-tournament selection reached base all three times in the title game, and was praised for her efforts working with Jenkins and McKenzi Ferguson throughout the tournament.
“Kayla has played great all year,” Wagner said. “I really meant to look at my stats earlier today because I thought she might be the MVP. What she really does, she works with our pitchers so well. She’s caught so many years, she’s a pitching coach herself.”
Daniel Boone will host Jefferson County in a Region 1-AAA semifinal game on Monday at 6 p.m. Dobyns-Bennett will go on the road to face District 2-AAA champion Seymour.
“We will keep going out competing and hope for the best,” Hubbard said. “We’ve had a great team effort. Not just one person, everybody is contributing.”