A quiet demeanor, quiet dugout and quiet bats combined for a quiet ending to the Bearettes' opener in the 5-AAA softball tournament at Rhea County High School, Friday.
Bradley Central managed two more hits off the Lady Golden Eagles' Hannah Manley after a lead-off single by Mikala Ard and fell to the loser's bracket after an 8-1 loss to Rhea.
"We just didn't bring our competitive game tonight. After the first run they scored, it was just like a somber mood took over. Just one run down and we never got any enthusiasm or intensity to go after the ball. We were very quiet, very somber. It was kind of like the gloom in the sky. That was their mood," Bearettes coach Christy McElhaney said, comparing the Bearettes' disposition to the darkening clouds gathering over the Lady Eagles' sparkling new facility.
Rhea's first hit off Bearettes' senior pitcher Allison Conley was a home run on an 0-2 pitch to Whittney Thompson.
Conley and the Bearettes held the Lady Eagles scoreless in the second but gave up three runs off a single, triple and double in the bottom of the third.
Rhea County scored one more in the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead.
The Bearettes showed signs of life in the top of the sixth on a lead-off infield single by Chanler Grady. Bradley made it a 7-1 game two outs later when Tori Roberts singled to left-center field driving in Grady.
The solitary run was all Bradley could muster against the Lady Eagles who shut down the Bearettes in order to lock up the win.
"We just didn't have any urgency to be disciplined at the plate. We swung at bad pitches and let good ones go by. We can't do that. We've got to be able to be aggressive and start putting the bat on the ball," said McElhaney.
"They've got to find it in their hearts to play hard from the first to the seventh inning. We've got to be aggressive," said McElhaney.
The Bearettes will take on the Lady Raiders, who suffered a 12-1 loss against Soddy-Daisy on Friday, in an elimination game at Rhea County today at 1 p.m., weather permitting.
LADY EAGLES 7, BEARETTES 1
Bradley Central 000 001 0 — 1 3 2
Rhea County 103 121 x — 7 12 1
WP: Hannah Manley. LP: Allison Conley. HR: Whitney Thompson (RC). 3B: Sarah Freels (RC). 2B: Manley 2. Other highlights: Manley 2-3, Morgan Hidalgo 2-3, Sarah Beth Mitchell 2-3.