The Lady Rangers scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning and defeated Gibson County 5-3 Wednesday at the Starplex softball complex. Erika Potter had a line drive single to left field as Taylor Shanks and Keiana Forney scored what proved to be the game-winning runs.
Although Gibson County (23-20) got runners on first and third in the extra inning, Sadie Shoun was able to hold on and get the win. She pitched the final four innings after starter Kailey Wilson was solid through the first four innings.
“Our pitchers have been strong. They’re young, but they’ve stepped up and have what they’ve needed to do,” Unaka coach Kenneth Chambers said. “They really did a great job today.”
The same could be said for Potter, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Shanks, who finished 3-for-4, gave Unaka a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a RBI single to score Beth Lowe. The Lady Rangers (25-22) added runs in the fourth and fifth inning to maintain their advantage until the Lady Pioneers’ Chloe Hopgood scored a game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh.
Unaka didn’t panic, but offered the needed response in the extra inning.
Overall, the Lady Rangers had 11 hits, including two from Lilie Kiser. They also scored on a bases-loaded walk by Noelle Collins, but still left a dozen runners on base. It was the only area where their coach wasn’t pleased with.
“It’s always good to get a win in the state tournament, but we feel if we come ready to play, we can play with anybody,” Chambers said. “We played well today other than we left too many people on base. We left bases loaded three times. We just have to get some key hits in those situations. But, we have a great group of girls and I think we can play with anybody that’s out here.”