Batting in the nine-hole, McKee’s walk-off double to center field in the ninth inning lifted David Crockett to a 3-2 victory over Dobyns-Bennett Friday night in the District 1-AAA softball tournament at Daniel Boone High School.
“I had a full count and I knew it was going to be close,” McKee said. “I was up in the box and ready to swing. It just felt really good.”
Crockett’s win completed a Washington County sweep in the first round of the tournament. Host Daniel Boone defeated Sullivan Central 6-0 in the second game of the evening, and Science Hill beat Tennessee High 6-1 in the opening game.
The Lady Pioneers (19-21) had to go their final at-bats in the seventh inning even to push the game to extra innings.
Kelli Hooks scored off Callie Lowe’s fielders choice to tie the game at 2-2. Crockett had scored its first run in the fourth inning off Kelliann Colon’s grounder which scored Jessica Leach.
In the end, the Lady Pioneers hung tough with Bekah Copas picking up the win after taking over for starter Haley Grindstaff, who threw the first five innings.
“That’s this team,” Crockett head coach Carla Weems said. “They struggled, they tied it up and they’ve come back and fought. This time, we finally won it.”
The Lady Pioneers advanced to the double-elimination round for the first time in Weems’ six-year tenure.
It was a season-ending loss for the Lady Indians, who had 11 hits and left nine runners stranded, including bases-loaded in the fourth inning.
Madi Kilby went 2-for-3 to lead D-B, who also had two hits from Abby Stratton and Leah Taylor. Kilby’s RBI double scored Stratton for the game’s first run, and Taylor’s RBI single to score Makaylah Frye gave D-B a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.
“Crockett’s good, but we battled and it was a good game,” D-B head coach Andy Hubbard said. “We just hated to be on the wrong end of it. My girls never quit and I’m proud of them.”
Marissa Honeycutt went seven innings for the Lady Indians, while Frye suffered the loss.
Crockett lead-off Maddi Tarlton had two doubles, while Sam Fox, Leach and Lowe all ended with two hits. Crockett will face top-seed Volunteer on Monday.
Science Hill 6, Tennessee High 1
The Lady ’Toppers, who had struggled with timely hitting most of the season, had no such problem in a 6-1 win over Tennessee High.
Scoreless heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Science Hill scored six runs off five hits and cruised to the easy win.
Megan Maupin got the scoring started for Science Hill in the opener with a RBI single to left field. She had another single drop an inning later to finish 2-for-3 on the day.
Maupin explained the success at the plate came after getting 10 hits and scoring six runs against Volunteer ace Morgan Marshall on Wednesday.
“I was more confident after how we hit against Morgan,” Maupin said. “I think that game helped us a lot. We played better today than we had been playing.”
After Maupin’s big hit, Abby Higgins followed with a two-run single. By the time the inning was over, the Lady ’Toppers (18-19-1) had all the runs they needed.
“It felt good for me because I hadn’t been hitting so well in the past games,” Higgins said. “It made me happy.”
Megan Guinn added a final RBI hit for the Lady ’Toppers, who scored two runs off errors in the fourth inning.
Science Hill pitcher Vanessa Elliott allowed just one hit through six scoreless innings before giving up three hits and a run in the final inning. Elliott improved to 12-6-1 in her complete-game performance.
Felicia Walsh had a RBI single for the Lady Vikings’ only run. Tennessee High finished its season at 7-17.
Daniel Boone 6, Sullivan Central 0
Daniel Boone catcher Meredith Good foiled the Lady Cougars’ best chance to score by firing a pick-off throw to third base in the fifth inning. The pick-off kept a 2-0 game from becoming a one-run affair.
“I just saw the runner was getting a little farther down the line than she should be,” Good said. “I just shot her down.”
Good followed it up with a RBI double to right field which started a four-run outburst in the sixth.
“The pitch was pretty low, but coach (Rick) Wagner said to get to the right side so we could score,” Good said. “So, that’s what I did.”
Kaylin Conkin went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, while McKenzi Ferguson and Abbey Harrison each finished 2-for-3 for the Lady ’Blazers (27-15).
“With the support of our team, we all have each other behind us,” Conkin said. “Whether you’re hitting the ball or you’re in a slump, our team is always standing behind us.”
Ferguson had another stellar effort in the circle. She gave up just four hits and two walks, going the distance.
Haley Wagner also reached base twice and had two runs scored.
For the Lady Cougars (14-19), Hannah White reached base three times including a double to lead-off the fifth inning. Josie Milam suffered the loss after giving up seven hits and six runs.
With the win, Boone was able to advance to the next round, keeping alive its chance of defending a string of five straight district titles.
“We’ve been able to build a tradition by working hard and by the grace of God giving us the wisdom to play,” Conkin said. “We’ve been able to work together as a team and it feels good to be able to move on to the next game.”
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