Lady Patriots are first-time regional champs

Tanner Cook • May 15, 2019 at 10:18 PM

RUTLEDGE—The Region 1-AA softball championship is clad in red, white and blue for the first time after Sullivan East took down Grainger 4-3 on Wednesday night.

The Lady Patriots (28-15) will host their first-ever sectional game on Friday against Alcoa. A start time has yet to be determined.

East’s Hannah Scott pitched lights out with a combination of knuckleballs and change-ups to keep the Lady Grizzlies off balance. Even though she did not record a strikeout in the complete game, she induced 12 groundouts and allowed just two hits.

“We’re excited and the whole school is excited for us,” East head coach Michael Forrester said. “We’re just out here having fun right now. … Every run we scored started with two outs and nobody on.”

Kylee Wolfe continued her standout season for East by finishing the night with a two-out, out-the-wall double to deep right field — plating two runs.

The insurance run that East needed to hold Grainger at bay came in the sixth when Cassie Littleford rocketed one down the third-base line and into the corner. It was good enough to score Kayla Honaker from first, extending the Lady Patriots’ lead to 4-1.

Grainger got off to a hot start when Lexie Sykes reached on an error at third, then Abigail Richie got the first hit of the game with a single.

The next batter walked and suddenly the bases were juiced, setting up a Tyrah White sacrifice to center.

Scott settled in and did not allow another hit until the seventh inning.

With one on, Grainger pitcher Emily Agee hit a long home run to left center that hit near the top of the light pole and bounced back into the park. It got the Lady Grizzlies within a run, but Scott able to coax two more groundouts to seal the deal for Sullivan East.

“All that did was bring the tying run to the plate,” Forrester said. “I knew Hannah could get those last two outs. I had confidence in her.”

Agee pitched well for the Lady Grizzlies, striking out seven. She allowed nine hits and walked just one, but East feasted off the high and fast pitches that she likes to throw.

The Lady Grizzlies (14—2) will travel to Corryton to take on Gibbs on Friday.

Johnson City Press Videos