Unicoi County’s softball team made good use of the situation, scoring seven unearned runs with two outs in the second inning. The Lady Blue Devils went on to beat Happy Valley 12-0 on Thursday in a Three Rivers Conference game played at Metro-Kiwanis Park.
Unicoi (22-4) improved to 8-0 in league play. Happy Valley (2-17) slipped to 1-7 in the conference.
Leading 1-0, the Lady Blue Devils loaded the bases on an error, hit batter, and a single. Two outs later, the bases were still full. But the Lady Blue Devils weren’t done until seven runs had crossed the plate.
Halie Hawkins doubled in a pair of runs, and Cassie Selvage followed with another two-run double to make it 5-0.
“I thought it was a really big inning for us,” said Hawkins. “And I thought overall we stepped up as a team.”
An error plated two more runs, and Carly Kinsler capped the outburst with an RBI single.
Abbie Grindstaff pitched a terrific game. She didn’t allow a baserunner for 5 2/3 innings.
“It kept me from subbing some,” said Unicoi head coach Grady Lingerfelt. “I wanted to give her a chance at the perfect game. (Injured pitcher) Allee Griffith being out, she stepped up.”
Happy Valley’s Abby Holt broke up the perfect game with a clean single to left-center field. Laura Rice followed with another hit, but the Lady Warriors couldn’t push a run across.
Grindstaff went the distance, allowing three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Her catcher, Hawkins, said Grindstaff was strong in the circle.
“She pitched a very, very good game,” said Hawkins. “She was hitting her spots really well. She has different breaking balls, and they’ve been working well. They worked on the batters we needed them to work on.”
Hawkins and Chloe Powers each had three hits for the Lady Blue Devils. Ashtan Vance had two hits and two RBIs while Selvage and Hawkins each finished with two RBIs.