The Lady Rangers fell short 7-1 against Whitwell in a losers’ bracket contest at Starplex Field on Thursday afternoon.
“The big reason we didn’t win is we didn’t make enough contact earlier in the game,” said Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers. “I was super proud of our girls. They played their guts out. Everybody that played did an excellent job.”
Unaka finished its season with a record of 25-23 while Whitwell improved to 28-10.
A LATE THREAT
Trailing 7-0, the Lady Rangers came out hot in the sixth inning. Sadie Shoun led off with a single, and Erika Potter followed with a line-drive single that got past the center fielder and allowed Shoun to score.
Lilie Kiser stepped up and hit a hard single to right field to put runners on the corners, but Noelle Collins’ line drive was turned into a double play. A strikeout ended the threat.
Unaka fell behind in the second inning. With two outs and two on, Kynlie Higdon got things started with a ground-ball RBI double down the left field line.
Maddie Jordan followed with a dribbler in front of the plate. Unaka didn’t have much of a play, and Jordan legged it out for a hit as the runner scored from third. Layla McEwen hit a line-drive rope to left field, plating two runs for a 4-0 Whitwell lead.
“We had a couple of errors, and they hit the ball pretty well,” said Chambers. “At this level, if you make any errors whatsoever it’s hard to come back.”
Jordan led off with a single, and moved to second on a groundout. Anna Yell followed with a solid single to center to make it 5-0.
ENDING ANY DOUBT
The Tigers added a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Higdon hit a single to right field with two runners on base, and the ball got past the right fielder for a pair of unearned runs.
Jordan, McEwen, Yell, Higdon and Delanier Merciers each had two hits for the Tigers. McEwen finished with two RBIs. Yell went the distance in the circle, allowing six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
For Unaka, Alana Johnson was the only player with two hits.