Lady 'Blazers ride Jenkins to district championship

Tanner Cook • Updated May 9, 2019 at 11:16 PM

CHURCH HILL—Senior shortstop Jaycie Jenkins capped her impressive District 1-AAA softball tournament with a flourish on Thursday night at Volunteer, ushering Daniel Boone to a 9-2 championship win.

Jenkins, who was named most valuable player, added to her tourney total of 10 RBIs with five more — including a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to top it off — in a 3-for-5 showing.

“When these two teams get together, it’s always a big game,” Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins said. “Nickolette (Ferguson) really battled and I think she threw better there in the later innings. … We’re hitting on all cylinders right now and playing well at the right time of the year.”

Neither team could get any offense in the first two innings, but Science Hill (31-10) struck first in the top of the third.

All with two outs, Kasey Bennett reached on a walk before Abigail Taylor got on with a single to start a rally for Science Hill. Shayna Price then hit a hard grounder up the middle to drive in Bennett from second, but that is all Ferguson would allow the Lady ’Toppers.

Ferguson’s final line included a complete game with eight strikeouts.

One of the big momentum swings was a throw from Boone outfielder McKenna Dietz to home, nailing Taylor at the plate for the final out.

Ferguson retired the next six and eight of the next nine batters to shut down the Science Hill offense.

The Lady ’Blazers (44-6) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Brylee Mesusan scored from second base on a Jenkins line drive to the wall.

Boone then erupted for eight runs in the sixth and slammed the door shut on any doubts of losing the lead with only a half inning to play.

Jenkins actually started the inning with a leadoff single, but was later tagged out at home trying to score on a pitch that got away from Science Hill catcher Jayden Salts.

The work was not all done by Jenkins as Greyson Stevens finished with a pair of RBIs and Megan Ackerman two hits. Camryn Sarvis and Bug Hubbard each drove in a run.

The Lady ’Blazers will host the District 2-AAA runner-up — Morristown East or Jefferson County — while Science Hill travels to face the winner in Monday’s regional semifinals.


The Lady Hilltoppers had to stave off a valiant rally by Dobyns-Bennett in the first elimination game, winning 14-9.

Sejal Neas got the win in the circle, striking out seven in 5⅔ innings of work. Morgan Riffle absorbed the loss and had three punch-outs.

The Lady Indians (23—6) were guilty of eight errors and were 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position, including nine left stranded.

Science Hill’s offense was clicking from the start, landing a gut punch in the first inning with seven runs.

Zoey Cooper (3 hits) and Bennett (2 hits) each finished with three RBIs while Makenzie Smith (2 hits) had two. One of Bennett’s hits was a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth.

Abigail Taylor matched Cooper with three hits. Shayna Price added two.

D-B had a slow climb back into the game and it was highlighted with a solo home run by Chloe Duncan (her second of the tournament) in the fourth inning.

With one out in the fifth, the Tribe strung together three walks, a fielder’s choice and two singles to get back within striking distance. However, Science Hill scored three runs in the home half of the frame to pull away for good.

Riffle batted 3 for 5.

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