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Unaka earns third consecutive state softball berth

Matt Laws • Updated May 17, 2019 at 9:35 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Unaka softball team wasn’t going to be denied its third straight trip to Murfreesboro.

The Lady Rangers answered a fierce Tellico Plains rally to take a wild 10-8 victory in the Class A Sectional on Friday night

The state tournament begins Tuesday.

UNAKA TAKES CONTROL

Erika Potter and the Lady Rangers got off to a quick start.

Potter put Unaka on the board in the home side of the first with a three-run home run over the center field fence, and Unaka added another run off a Tellico Plains error in the bottom of the second to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Lady Rangers answered a solo Lady Bears homer in the third inning with two runs of their own to push the advantage to 6-1. After Tellico Plains added another home run in the fifth, Unaka responded to take an 8-2 advantage into the sixth inning.

TELLICO PLAINS RALLY

The Lady Bears weren’t going to go quietly.

The bats came alive for Tellico Plains in the sixth as the visitors plated six runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 8-8.a

Unaka, however, had the final answer.

In the home side of the sixth, the Lady Rangers quickly loaded the bases and Madison Pierce regained the lead for Unaka as she scored off a walk. Noelle Collins put the ball in play and that allowed Potter to score as Unaka took a two-run advantage into the final inning.

Tellico Plains put a runner in scoring position, but Sadie Shoun recorded a strikeout for the third strike to set off a celebration among the Unaka faithful.

RANGERS’ LEADERS

Lilie Kiser and Shoun led the way as the duo recorded two hits apiece. Potter had three RBIs, while Kiser and Collins had two RBIs apiece.

Kailey Wilson had a strong showing in the circle for Unaka and Shoun picked up the save as she allowed just three hits in just under two innings of work.

Hannah McGowen led the way for Tellico Plains as she was 4-for-5 with three RBIs, including two home runs.

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