Lady Cyclones, Devils face off for title
Apr 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM
Three Rivers Conference softball fans have been waiting all season for this battle.
Unicoi County travels to take on Elizabethton in a battle between two teams who are undefeated in league play. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lady Cyclones' field.
The Lady Blue Devils are 5-0 in the Three Rivers and 17-5 overall while Elizabethton is 6-0, 15-6.
Both teams have stumbled a bit lately with the Lady Cyclones losing three of their last five games. Unicoi is 4-4 in its last 10 games with two of them ending in ties during the Gibbs Invitational over the weekend.
Elizabethton head coach Leanne Click acknowledged it is a big game, but said, “We're just going in to play ball; just treating it as if it were any other game we've played. If we play well, we should be fine. I just expect the kids to work hard and all will fall into place.”
Greeneville's once-struggling softball program made a run to the Class AA sectional last season, and the Lady Greene Devils have carried that momentum right into 2013.
Before Monday's game they were off to a 15-2 start — including an 8-0 record in the Blue Ridge Conference — and the Lady Greene Devils have won 43 of their last 47 games overall.
Leading the way is sophomore pitcher Jordan Fortel, who is averaging double-digit strikeouts per game. Fortel is also the team's top hitter with a .650 batting average and six homers.
Also, junior first baseman Sarah Luttrell and sophomore second baseman Lorena Leon have been performing well at the plate.
Greeneville faced its biggest league test Monday on the road against Grainger, which is 19-3 overall. The Lady Greene Devils play Grainger again today at home.
It's a big week for prep signings, which will take place at several area schools.
Included in the mix are a pair of Science Hill athletes. C.J. Good will join former teammate Hunter LeVeau in signing with King College for basketball while swimmer D.J. Smith will sign with Carson-Newman. All three signings are at 3 p.m. in the new Science Hill gym.
In a Division I signing, Elizabethton catcher Thomas Miller will make it official with Middle Tennessee State University on Wednesday. He will sign the baseball deal at 3 p.m. in the commons area.
Over at Daniel Boone, six athletes will make their college decisions on Thursday. The signings will all take place at 9:45 a.m. in the Little Theater.
Three baseball players are in the mix with Jacob Littleton and Taylor Smith joining the Milligan program, and Daniel Wagner making it official with Virginia Intermont.
In basketball deals, Jordan Stout is signing with Milligan while Kathleen Casey will join the Lees-McRae women's program. Jenny Snyder will make it official with Concord University's women.
Also at Sullivan East, Wednesday is the signing day for Savanna Summers (Francis Marion, women's basketball), Jonathan King (King College, basketball), and Kara Anderson (Columbia College, volleyball). All will take place at 2:30 p.m. in the school's library.
The University of Tennessee's baseball team will honor the late John Whited prior to Sunday's home game against Mississippi.
Any of Whited's former players who wish to join the family on the field for the pregame ceremony are asked to contact Rachel Miller at 865-974-9001 by Wednesday.
Besides being the third-winningest coach (145-109) in UT's history, Whited was head coach for 16 seasons at Dobyns-Bennett. The Indians posted a record of 294-86 under Whited, winning 10 conference titles and finishing state runner-up twice.
Baseball games of the week — (Today) Sullivan South at Science Hill, Tennessee High at Daniel Boone, (Wednesday) Science Hill at Daniel Boone, (Monday) Daniel Boone at Science Hill, Sullivan South at Tennessee High.
It's arguably the biggest week of the season for the Trailblazers, who could rise up into the Big Eight Conference title chase. However, it would take a pair of wins over the Hilltoppers — who entered Monday without a league loss. …
It's also a key time for Sullivan South as the Rebels began the week locked in a second-place struggle with Dobyns-Bennett.
North Greene muscles up a pair of spots in this week's Prep Top 10 baseball rankings.
Team W-L Prv
1. Unicoi County 15-2 1
2. Science Hill 18-4 2
3. Dobyns-Bennett 17-3 3
4. Sullivan South 16-7 4
5. Elizabethton 12-8 5
6. Daniel Boone 11-8 6
7. North Greene 12-1 9
8. Tennessee High 8-6 7
9. Happy Valley 12-7 8
10. Greeneville 8-6 nr
Softball games of the week — (Today) Science Hill at Daniel Boone, Unicoi County at Elizabethton, (Thursday) Daniel Boone at Dobyns-Bennett, David Crockett at Tennessee High, (Friday-Sunday) Tiny Day Classic at Greeneville.
Science Hill gets its final shot at stopping the Lady Trailblazers' undefeated Big Eight Conference run. …
Over a dozen area teams will make the weekend trip to Greeneville for the Tiny Day event, the oldest high school softball tournament in the state.
David Crockett pushes its way into the top 10 in this week's softball rankings.
Team W-L Prv
1. Daniel Boone 23-3 1
2. Unicoi County 17-5 2
3. Elizabethton 15-6 3
4. Greeneville 15-2 4
5. Science Hill 18-11 5
6. Dobyns-Bennett 17-13 7
7. Volunteer 13-10 6
8. David Crockett 9-11 nr
9. Tennessee High 9-12 8
10. University High 8-7 10