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South softball blanks Happy Valley as Troutman just misses no-hitter

Gene Renfro • May 2, 2019 at 10:34 PM

BLUFF CITY — A pitching gem propelled Sullivan South to a win in the District 1-AA Softball tournament past Happy Valley Thursday played at Sullivan East.

That pitching performance was a one hitter hurled by Nicole Troutman as Sullivan South (20-14) advanced with a 6-0 victory against the Lady Warriors (10-25)

The evening started when fourth-seeded Elizabethton (13-18) pounded out a 12-2 win over fifth-seeded Sullivan Central (5-19).

With the outcomes Friday’s slate of games was set to be played at Sullivan East. The opener at 5 p.m. features Sullivan Central vs. Happy Valley in an elimination meeting. The 6:30 p.m. contest has top-seed Unicoi County against Elizabethton while the 8 p.m. scheduled game features host Sullivan East versus Sullivan South.

Sullivan South 6, Happy Valley 0

Troutman relied on her defense to get outs. She was perfect through three innings before Olivia Absher reached on an error to start the fourth. Claire Johnson began the sixth and reached on another error. The lone hit was after an out in the seventh inning when Maddie Lingerfelt sent a single to right field.

“I just relied on my team to back me up,” Troutman said about the near no-hitter.

Troutman mixed in five strikeouts through the seven inning affair. She went 1-for-2 at the plate with a RBI in the fifth inning that broke the game open.

Sullivan South enjoyed a 2-0 advantage going to the bottom of the fifth. The RBI single from Troutman extended the lead before Allison Chapman belted a three-run home run over the left field fence. Troutman was 2-for-3 in the contest. Macy Ellis also went 2-for-3 with a double and triple.

“Nicole was on today,” Sullivan South head coach Chris Sturgill said. “She had a little extra pop today. We’ve been able to rest them the last couple of days and focus on hitting which helped her arm out. The defense played great behind her and they made the routine plays which is big. We got the bats going.”

Elizabethton 12, Sullivan Central 2 (6 innings)

Maggie Johnson scored three times including a run in the eight-run sixth inning. The Lady Cyclones pounded out seven hits in the frame as a dozen batters went to the plate. Johnson went 3-for-5 at the top of the lineup while Kallista Deprimo helped flip the lineup going 3-for-3 in the No. 9 spot.

The duo of Maddie O’Quinn and Kaylen Shell each had two RBIs for Elizabethton.

Madisun Pritchard threw the complete game for Elizabethton with two runs allowed. The two runs were solo home runs from Courtney Willis and Alexa Chandler. She scattered five more hits and worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the fifth when the score was just 3-2.

“Central played well, we were off balance, but that’s tournament time ball. Things get tighter in a tournament no matter what you have done in the season,” Elizabethton head coach Ken Hardin said. “We kept on hitting it late. I’m really proud of the girls for putting the bat on the ball and running the bases well and did a lot of things good in the last inning.”

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