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Unicoi County defeats Sullivan East for 1-AA softball title

Jeff Birchfield • May 8, 2019 at 11:04 PM

BLUFF CITY — Halie Hawkins hit two home runs and Unicoi County had a lights-out performance in the District 1-AA softball championship on Wednesday night.

The Lady Devils scored 10 runs in the first inning against homestanding Sullivan East before the lights went out the next inning at G.B. Pierce Field. While the Lady Patriots made a comeback, it wasn’t enough as Unicoi County took a 12-6 victory.

It was revenge for a blowout loss to the Lady Patriots two days before. Earlier in the evening, Unicoi County won 7-5 over East to force an extra game in the double-elimination tournament.

“It makes coaching a lot easier when you score 10 in the first inning. I’ve never seen them hit like that,” said Unicoi assistant Ray Webb after filling in for head coach Grady Lingerfelt, who missed the game with illness. “We were in the losers’ bracket, but they just worked hard and hit it. Allee (Griffith), I can’t say enough about all the pitches she threw. She was awesome — catching, defense, everything was awesome. Ashtan Vance in right field made play after play after play.”

HAWKINS’ MVP EFFORT

Hawkins started off the Unicoi onslaught with a solo home run to right-center field in the game’s first at-bat.

The Lady Devils scored seven runs in the top of the first before getting their first out. By the time the inning was over, the damage was done and they were well on their way to the district title.

Hawkins, who was named both the tournament’s most valuable player and Three Rivers Conference player of the year after the game, added another solo home run around the same spot in the fourth inning.

“It was tough mentally to come back and keep facing them because they’re a great team,” Hawkins said. “I’m proud of our team and how we overcome that. It was awesome how I hit the ball tonight. Some days, you go 0-for-3 and sometimes you have a game like this. It comes and goes.”

OTHER LEADERS

Samanta Chavez was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Lady Devils. Chloe Powers had two doubles and two RBIs, while Bella Bogart and winning pitcher Allee Griffith also had two hits.

Sullivan East was led by Emma Timbs, who had a home run, drove in three runs and scored twice. Jillian Shackelford, Chelsea Sams, Kylee Wolfe, Kinzie Brown, Hannah Scott and Autumn Moore all had two hits as the Lady Patriots had 14 hits overall.

GAME ONE

Unicoi County 7, Sullivan East 5

Kiley Bennett drove in three runs as the Lady Devils jumped out to a 7-2 lead and held on against the Lady Patriots.

Ashtan Vance was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Bella Bogart went 2-for-3 and Halie Hawkins was 2-for-4. Samanta Chavez and Chloe Powers each doubled.

Allee Griffith got the win, striking out six, giving up seven hits and two walks.

Kylee Wolfe was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead East. Kinzie Brown was 2-for-3 and Cayden Bawgus had two RBIs.

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