It was a tale of thrilling games in the District 1-AA Softball tournament on Tuesday.
Elizabethton dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 victory to Unicoi County in the winner’s bracket finale, while Happy Valley pulled out a thrilling 4-3 win over Johnson County to keep their season alive.
On Wednesday, Happy Valley will face Sullivan East at 5:30 with the winner advancing to take on Elizabethton at 7 p.m. Both games are elimination games and the winner of the 7 p.m., matchup will face Unicoi on Thursday for the District 1-AA title.
For Elizabethton, it was a tight game from the opening pitch.
EHS took a 1-0 lead in the second when Kaylin Shell hit a single to center field to score Bailey Creasy. Unicoi, however, got the run back in the top of the fourth with a homerun to center field.
Macie Herrmann put the Lady Cyclones on the board in the home side of the frame as the senior’s single pushed Maggie Johnson and Creasy across the plate to give EHS a 3-1 advantage going to the fifth. The Lady Blue Devils responded once again with two runs of their own in the next frame to tie things up at 3-3.
Elizabethton edged ahead in the bottom of the fifth as Hannah Edwards hit a double that plated Maci West, but Unicoi added two runs in the top of the sixth to take a one-run lead.
The Lady Blue Devils added another run in the seventh with two outs that gave UC a 6-4 advantage going to the final three outs.
The Lady Cyclones started the inning off strong as West launched a homerun over the centerfield fence. Haley Fair got on base in the next at bat and quickly moved to 3rd base while Kira Dillard also got to second. EHS, however, was unable to push either run across home plate.
West was 3-for-3 at the plate, while Fair added two hits for the EHS cause.
Lauren Brickey was handed the loss in the circle as she gave up four earned runs on 12 hits.
In the nightcap, the Lady Warriors weren’t ready for their season to end yet. Happy Valley continued to play for another day with a thrilling victory in the eighth inning.
Neither team could get separation from the other throughout the game as HV took full advantage of the extra frame to advance – setting up Wednesday’s clash with Sullivan East.