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Lady Hilltoppers shave Big Seven win from D-B

Tanner Cook • Mar 26, 2019 at 9:32 PM

KINGSPORT — A pitchers’ duel broke out on Tuesday afternoon at Indian Highland Park as the Science Hill softball team came away with a 2-1 Big Seven Conference victory over rival Dobyns-Bennett.

Sejal Neas picked up the win for the Lady Hilltoppers (12-3), going the distance with 77 pitches — 58 for strikes — and fanning six batters.

Shayna Price and Mackenzie Powell hit two big RBI doubles for the Lady ’Toppers. Science Hill managed just five hits, but two misplayed doubles by the Lady Indians’ outfield proved costly.

“Those two balls in the outfield that we normally catch killed us,” D-B head coach Andy Hubbard said. “We didn’t hit it like we’re capable of, but we’ve gotten better from the beginning of the year. … You’ve got to capitalize on mistakes. They did and we didn’t. (Morgan) Riffle threw a great game and couldn’t have pitched any better.”

The senior Riffle ended up with a hard-luck loss, tossing 90 pitches and striking out nine batters.

TRIBE RALLY FALLS SHORT

The Lady Indians (5-6) were heading into the final at-bat with a little momentum from Riffle in the circle as Science Hill went down in order, but still down 2-0.

Kassidy Miller got on with a grounder up the middle, which was just the third hit of the evening for D-B. The others were both singles by Riffle.

Brandy Hannoway got on for D-B after being hit in the elbow, and suddenly there were runners on first and second with no outs.

After Peyton Domby struck out, Kierstyn Judd hit another grounder up the middle for a single. The bases were loaded and the tying run was on second base with still only one out.

Emma Allgood swung at the first pitch from Neas and popped up to first, but still there was hope for the Lady Indians. Evee Battisto was hit on the very next pitch and the first run of the game came across for D-B with the bases still loaded.

Unfortunately, the rally was halted when Griffin Mullins struck out looking on three pitches.

FROM THE COACH

“We didn’t make any errors,” Science Hill head coach Jerry Higgins said. “Shayna Price hit the ball well. … When you’ve got a 2-0 lead, our pitching has to be good all the time. Part of the time doesn’t get it done. … It’s a win.”

UP NEXT

Science Hill will host Daniel Boone in a pivotal early season conference matchup on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The Lady Indians will be in this weekend’s Eastman tournament at Brickyard Park.

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