After overcoming seven errors in Monday’s 7-6 win over the defending state champs, it wasn’t until the top of the seventh inning Tuesday that the Lady Mustangs were able to take clear control of the game, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to ultimately win the game 7-2 over upset-minded Ooltewah.
“Like I said last game, I’m just proud of their fight and willingness not to give up. Ooltewah played a great game and they continued to fight,” Walker Valley head coach Lauren Limburg said. “This was a complete team effort in that last inning and throughout the game. Ooltewah is a great team and we’re fortunate to have a win.”
Walker Valley (20-3, 8-0 District 5-AAA) took a quick lead as Hallie Davis opened the game with a double. She advanced to third base on a hit by Baylee Boen.
Sidney Hooper’s infield hit was enough to bring Davis in for what was the only run the Lady Mustangs were able to score until six innings later.
Following a quick second inning, the Lady Owls were able to snatch the lead away from the visitors in the bottom of the third.
With a runner on first, a triple from an Ooltewah batter tied the game up with two outs still remaining. Another hit was enough to bring the other Lady Owl runner in from third base.
Both teams battled fiercely throughout the next three innings, and the red hot Navy-and–Gold found their bats and runners stumped by the home team’s defense. Whenever Walker Valley batters found teammates close to reaching scoring position, the Lady Owls were quick to shut them down.
The Lady Mustangs worked equally as hard as the home team, with winning pitcher Sidney Hooper (16-3) and the team’s defense doing whatever was necessary to not allow Ooltewah (12-11, 3-6) to extend their lead.
The score was still 2-1 in favor of the Lady Owls going into the final frame, but it wouldn’t stay like that for long.
Rachel Percy stepped up to the plate and tied things up with a rare four-base error on a deep shot that a Lady Owl outfielder got a glove on, but as she collided with the fence, the ball bounced out of her glove and over the fence.
Alicia Raymond reached on an error and a walked batter, preceeding a hit by Jordan Dodson that caused a bit of confusion among the Lady Owl infielders, resulting in Raymond making it home from second base. An outfielder’s error on a ball hit by Davis then led to two more runs.
Hooper came up to bat with only one out remaining and one runner on base and blasted a homer over the fence for the Lady Mustangs’ final two runs of the game.
In the bottom of the frame, the first Ooltewah batter walked, but Walker Valley was able to quickly end the threat thanks to the efforts of Bayleigh Morgan and Percy, who ensured that no Lady Owl had the opportunity to make it past first base.
Walker Valley will play its third district game in four days Thursday when the Lady Mustangs head across the county to face Bradley Central at 5 p.m.
“We’ve got to look now to the next game, so we have to look to Bradley and come out mentally focused and ready to go against them,” Limburg commented.
Walker Valley 100 000 6 — 7 7 1
Ooltewah 002 000 0 — 2 6 4
WP: Sidney Hooper (16-3) 7 IP. HR: Rachel Percy, Hooper. 2B: Hallie Davis. Records: Walker Valley 20-3, 8-0 District 5-AAA; Ooltewah 12-11, 3-6 District 5-AAA.