It was quite a day for the Unaka softball team.
After the seniors graduated in the morning, the Lady Rangers punched their ticket to Murfreesboro with a 2-1 victory over Tellico Plains in the Class A Sectional. The victory game just over 24 hours after clinching the Region 1-A title in a 13-inning battle with North Greene.
Unaka will open the 2018 TSSAA Spring Fling on Tuesday. It is the second consecutive year that the Lady Rangers have advanced to Murfreesboro.
On Saturday night, Unaka set the tone early.
The Lady Rangers broke onto the scoreboard in the first inning.
Katlyn Weaver hit a deep single to score Madison Pierce – who got aboard with a triple – to give UHS a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
After holding the Lady Bears scoreless in the top of the second, Tayla Potter scored off a Sydney Markland double to push the lead to 2-0.
Neither team was able to get back on the board until the fifth when Alayna Hensley hit a solo home run for the visitors. Unaka, however, would not give another inch and ended the game by retiring the Tellico Plains batters in order in the seventh to set off the celebration.
In the pitching circle, Corie Schuettler pitched a gem of a game as she allowed just three hits and struck out seven batters. The senior – who graduated as Valedictorian in the morning graduation service – pitched 20 innings of hard-fought softball in just over 24 hours.
“The seniors did a great job and really stepped up – every one of the seniors really played well tonight,” Unaka Head Coach Kenneth Chambers said. “Hats off to Tellico – they graduated today too and had to come up here and play. They are a good team. We had a good atmosphere here. A lot of people came out to watch us and we had a great community involvement. I am proud of the girls, the school, and the community.”
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