Tayla Potter and the Unaka softball team were determined to have one more game on Stoney Creek.
Potter had three homers to power the Lady Rangers to a 7-5 victory over Cosby to claim the Region 1-AA Championship game. With the win, Unaka will host Tellico Plains on Stoney Creek in a Class A sectional on Friday with a berth in the Class A state tournament on the line.
It is the third straight year that Unaka and the Lady Bears have met in the sectional round.
It was back-and-forth battle in Cosby, but the Lady Eagles had no answer for Potter and company.
After Cosby took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Taylor Shanks pushed Kiki Forney across the plate to tie the game. In the next at bat, Potter hit her first home run of the night over the left field fence that also scored Shanks to give UHS a 3-1 lead going to the bottom of the second.
The Lady Eagles evened things up in the home side of the frame to tie the game up at 3-3 going to the third, and then Cosby added another run in the third to take a one-run advantage.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Potter sent the ball over the left field fence for a two-run shot that also brought Noelle Collins across the plate as well. That pushed the Unaka led to 5-4 after four innings.
The next two innings saw the score hold as neither team was able to plate a run. Potter added an insurance run in the top of the seventh with her third home run of the night. Erika Potter pushed Madison Pierce across the plate to give Unaka a 7-4 advantage.
The Lady Eagles got the tying run to the plate, but Unaka held strong for the win.
T. Potter finished the game 3-for-3 with five RBIs. Sadie Shoun, Collins, Shanks, E. Potter and Pierce each had a hit.
Shoun pitched up the win in the circle as she allowed two earned runs on nine hits in five innings of work.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Barker/Newport Plain Talk