SODDY-DAISY — After a great start to the softball season, the “Feisty Fillies” have been somewhat tamed a bit this week.
A last-at bat rally by the host Soddy-Daisy squad Thursday evening handed Walker Valley its second straight District 5-AAA loss, dropping it out of the league lead and into the mix with three other teams now in the thick of the race for the top spot in the district standings with just two weeks left in the regular season.
Seeing a tied game blown open in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 6-2 defeat at Clifford Kirk Stadium hobbled the Lady Mustangs’ hopes of bouncing back from their first loss to cross-county rival Bradley Central in seven years, earlier this week.
Now 15-5 on the season and 5-2 in 5-AAA play, Walker Valley is tied with Soddy-Daisy (18-6, 6-2), while East Hamilton (14-5, 7-2) leads the league by a half game. Ooltewah (18-6, 6-3) is right on the trio’s heels.
The Lady Mustangs will head up the mountain to Crossville this weekend to play in the Plateau Invitational before hosting Meigs County Monday and getting back into district play against Cleveland High Tuesday.
With pitching ace Alicia Raymond (10-4) hampered with a dislocated rib, Lady Mustang coach Lauren Limberg put the ball in the very capable hands of junior Carly Frost, who had won all five of her previous decisions this season, against the tough Lady Trojans Thursday.
The lefty held the powerful Soddy squad in check through the first five frames, giving up just a first-inning, two-out solo home run to Haley Reynolds, her seventh of the year, and a run-scoring single to Greyson Brown in the third.
Walker Valley had also touched Lady Trojan freshman hurler Shonna Penney (8-2) for a pair of runs. Down 2-0 going into the fourth frame, Lady Mustang senior Rachel Percy reached on an error. Junior all-stater Hallie Davis then singled to left and both runners advanced on AJ Chancey’s sacrifice bunt.
Mackenzie Elrod got plunked to load the bases and after a strikeout, sophomore Emilee Spann fouled off four 3-2 pitches before drawing an RBI-walk for the first Walker Valley run.
Davis evened the score in the top of the sixth inning by blasting her sixth home run of the season over the center-field wall.
Soddy-Daisy, which had been limited to just four hits in the first five frames, exploded in the bottom of the sixth with and eight-hit rally to put four big runs on the board.
After Frost got into a jam, the ailing Raymond, who had defeated the Lady Trojans 5-4 in their first meeting of the season, came on in relief with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but had no better luck as she was greeted by four straight RBI-hits.
Davis went 2-for-3 at the plate for Walker Valley, including her home run, while Spann added a double to her run-scoring free pass.
Reynolds was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs for the hosts, while Grayson Brown had a double and drove in a teammate in her trio of hits.
— Sports reporter Larry Fleming of Chattanoogan.com contributed to this article.
Walker Valley 000 101 0 – 2 5 1
Soddy-Daisy 101 004 x – 6 12 1
WP: Shonna Penney (8-2) 7 IP, 6 K’s, 5 hits, 1 ER; LP: Carly Frost (5-1) 6.1 IP. HR: Hallie Davis (6) (WV); Haley Reynolds (7) (SD); 2B: Emilee Spann (WV), Grayson Brown (SD); Highlights: Davis 2-3, HR, RBI; Spann 2B, BB, RBI (WV); Reynolds 3-3, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Brown 3-4, 2B, RBI (SD); Records: Walker Valley 15-5, 6-2 District 5-AAA; Soddy-Daisy 18-6, 5-2 District 5-AAA.