The Rhea County Lady Eagles got their bats going early and scored runs in the second, fifth and seventh innings to take a 7-1 district win Thursday at Cleveland.
“Defensively we have gotten way better, offensively we get better in the seventh inning for some reason. I guess they just like to play one inning, I don’t know,” said Cleveland coach Connie Stobert with a sense of humor tempered by a tough season for the winless Lady Raiders. “I just told them to look at the scoreboard, it tells them what they do offensively and we didn’t do anything until the seventh. And that’s too late.”
Cleveland produced only three hits on the afternoon in the form of a first inning single by Hannah Holland, a fifth inning double by Haley Hodgson, who took the loss for the Lady Raiders, and a final single by Abi Dye in the seventh.
Stobert pulled Hodgson after five full innings in favor of Allison Botts hoping to throw the Lady Eagles off balance at the plate.
“Haley pitched a pretty good game. We put Allison in to kind of throw them off a little bit and change it up. Again, it comes down to putting some runs on the board,” said Stobert.
The lone Cleveland run came Dye’s one-out single to left field. Dye stole second and after Hodgson reached on an error. She raced home when Hodgson baited the Rhea defense into a rundown that ended in a throw to the fence behind the plate.
“I congratulate them on defense. They are playing much better,” Stobert said of the improved Cleveland fielding.” And they are putting the ball in play. Now we just have to find the holes. There has been improvement as far as putting it in play.”
LADY EAGLES 7, LADY RAIDERS 1
Rhea County 020 040 1 — 7 9 1
Cleveland 000 000 1 — 1 3 3
WP: Shelby Kincannon. LP: Haley Hodgson. 2B: Hanna manley (RC); Hodgson (C). Other highlights: Kincannon 2-4, Samantha York 1-4 (RC). Records: Rhea County 15-9, 4-4 district 5-AAA; Cleveland 0-19, 0-7.