For the second time this softball season, only one run separated Bradley Central and Cleveland High at Bob McKenzie Field.
While the first meeting was a 10-inning 5-4 affair, Thursday’s contest was a 1-0 pitchers’ duel as the Bearettes claimed victory over their archrivals for the regular season sweep.
“We stayed tough mentally,” proclaimed Bradley head coach Christie McElhaney. “We got a strong pitching performance from Jenn (Corbitt) and the defense played solid behind her.”
While both teams had several opportunities to score, each leaving eight runners on base, the lone run came on a wild pitch, when Bearette Sydney Morgan raced home in the bottom of the second inning.
“We’ve been up and down all season. We’re just not executing thoroughly,” declared Cleveland head coach Connie Stobert.
Weather permitting, the Lady Raiders are supposed to play in the Ooltewah Classic today and Saturday before taking on 5-AAA leader Walker Valley on Tuesday. Bradley will have the weekend off before hosting Soddy-Daisy in a district contest Monday.
Corbitt fired a three-hit shutout at the Lady Raiders Thursday, striking out a half dozen, while issuing four walks. She allowed two base runners in the first, fifth and seventh innings, but worked out of the jams without any of the runners to reach third base.
Cleveland hurler Haley Hodgson countered with a strong effort of her own, scattering five hits, striking out two and issuing a pair of free passes. Her only real struggle came in the second frame when the first half-dozen Bearettes reached base, but only Morgan touched home safely.
Morgan opened the bottom of the second with a single, then moved up on an error that allowed Olivia Williams to reach safely. After Emily Colbaugh dropped down a bunt to load the bases, Morgan was able to score when a pitch got away. The Cleveland defense tightened up after the run got put on the scoreboard and was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
After getting single runners on base in their next two at bats, the Bearettes didn’t really threaten again until the sixth frame, when Williams was hit by a pitch and Colbaugh reached on an error on her sacrifice bunt attempt.
Once again the Lady Raider defense stiffened to prevent any further scoring.
Sydney Morgan and Chanler Grady had two hits each for the Bearettes while Lauren Lee picked up two hits for Cleveland.
BEARETTES 1, LADY RAIDERS 0
Cleveland 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Bradley Central 010 000 x — 1 5 1
WP: Jenn Corbitt 7 IP, 6 K’s, 4 BB, 3 hits, 0 ER; LP: Haley Hodgson 6 IP, 2 K’s, 1 BB, 5 hits, 1 ER. Highlights: Lauren Lee 2-4, SB (C); Sydney Morgan 2-3, run; Chanler Grady 2-3 (BC). Records: Cleveland 1-8, 0-7 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 4-7, 2-3 District 5-AAA.