- Family Features
- Business Directory
- Gallery Of Homes
- Subscribe Now!
- Place A Classified Ad
- New! Digital e-Edition
Martin HR, Roark's pitching lift Lady Bears
May 25, 2007 12:00 am
Kenzie Roark took care of the pitching while Merrick Martin provided the offense and much of the defense in Mt. Juliet's 2-0 win over Bolton in the first round of the State Tournament on Tuesday at Starplex.
Roark turned in a typical two-hit performance with no walks and 11 strikeouts to push the Lady Bears [44-9] into today's noon showdown with Riverdale, a 5-0 winner over Knoxville Central.
"We didn't know anything about this team," Roark said. "The only thing we knew about them is what we found on CoachT[.com], so we just kind of went at them with our game plan and it seemed to work."
Martin homered to left in the first inning and scored the other run in the fourth on a passed ball following a walk. She also walked in the sixth and got as far as third base. She also showed her range at shortstop with a couple of nifty plays in the seventh inning.
"It was high and down the middle," Martin said of the pitch she sent over the temporary left-field fence 210 feet away in the first inning. "But most of them were outside.
"A lot of the girls said she threw all outside so I was crowding the plate. But when I saw it, it was a good pitch."
"Merrick did a good job today of getting in the box and giving us a little lift," Mt. Juliet coach Kacey Pedigo said of the junior shortstop, who transferred from Father Ryan earlier this spring. "Kenzie did a great job and I can't really complain about anything that happened.
"It was a mark in the proper column."
Bolton left-hander Sydney McMillian allowed three hits – singles to Shelby Barrett and Caroline Mason – and three walks while striking out eight.
"[Facing lefties] can be different but we didn't get in the box ready to take that first strike away today so I'm hoping we show up [today] and take that first strike away," Pedigo said.
It wasn't hard for Martin, though.
"I play on a travel team over the summer with a left-handed pitcher, so she usually pitches against us," Martin said.
Mt. Juliet has handed Riverdale [48-4-1] half of its four losses. The Lady Warriors won 2-1 March 16 before the Lady Bears prevailed 1-0 March 31 and 3-2 April 28.
"We know we have to come and play our A-game against Riverdale," said Roark, who has both MJ wins over Lady Warror ace Cat Hosfield. "We've played them three times and all three times it's been a close matchup and every team plays their A-game in the State Tournament so we've got to come ready to play."
Controversial run figures prominently in Lady Commander loss to defending champs
MURFREESBORO — If the two best Class A teams hooked up when Friendship Christian and Trinity Christian met in Tuesday's first-round State Tournament game, there should be a lot to look forward to by the time Friday's finals come around.
Tuesday's game had a little bit of everything, including no small amount of controversy.
Defending state champ Trinity broke a tie with three runs in the top of the seventh inning and withstood a rally from the Cardiac [Lady] Commanders to prevail 4-3 at McKnight Field.
But a disputed fourth-inning run proved to be a difference-maker when the evening was said and done.
A walk and an error put Lady Lions on second and third with no one out. Following a strikeout, Ali Bozza lifted a fly ball to shallow left field where Rachel Tyler bobbled it before catching it cleanly on the second try. But Katie Henderson took off for the plate on the bobble and beat the throw home. Catcher Jessi Couch threw to third but the run, following an umpire conference, was allowed to stand.
"[The umpire] told me once it hit Rachel's glove and popped out, it became a live ball and the runner could go," Lady Commander coach Erica Powell said. "I still don't understand the call but I had already yelled at him so he wasn't going to listen to me.
"When Jessi threw it back to third, the field umpire called her out. We still had opportunities to win. That didn't cost us the game. We made two big errors at first base and a big one in right field. We made several little mental mistakes.
"You can't make errors against great teams and they're a great team. But I believe we are too and I believe we'll be in the championship game with them if we continue to play well. I plan to."
But first, the Lady Commanders [35-10] have to make their way through the loser's bracket beginning with today's noon elimination game against Midway, a 4-2 loser to East Robertson. Trinity [43-5] will face the Lady Indians tonight in a 7 p.m. winner's bracket game.
Trinity broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh when Haley Elliott reached on a one-out error and her pinch-runner, Amy Johnson, raced all the way around to score on Natalie Nelson's hit to right field which took a bad hop away from Shelby McDonald for a triple.
Powell pulled starting pitcher Hailey Rutledge, who had allowed two hits and walked four while striking out six, for Carrie Fry, who fanned the first batter she faced but walked the next two, setting up a two-run single to left by winning pitcher Ivy Renfroe.
Friendship, after getting only a third-inning double from McDonald in the first five innings against Renfroe, finally got to the Trinity sophomore in the sixth when Rutledge doubled off the third-base bag and scored on Kenzie Dye's single up the middle to tie the score 1-1. Lindsay Farmer followed with a single to center, but Olivia Wilson threw Dye out at the plate. Fry walked on four pitches before Renfroe escaped the jam with one of her 14 strikeouts.
After Trinity took a seemingly-comfortable 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh, the Cardiac Commanders made the Lady Lions uncomfortable in the bottom half. Camille Cross was hit with one out and was forced out by Kelcey Lee. Rutledge ripped a triple to right-center field. Couch struck out on a wild pitch, allowing Rutledge to score as Couch dived into first base to keep the game alive. But Renfroe got her 14th punchout to end the threat.
Friendship denied Trinity a second-inning run when Shelby Cummings doubled to deep right field. But Renfroe, who had walked, was caught in a rundown between third and home and was tagged out by Rutledge.
In the other bracket at Starplex, Whitwell whipped University School of Johnson City 9-1 and Forrest beat Adamsville 12-2.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.