BY NIC MILLER, Elizabethton Star
BLUFF CITY— After a blowout win against Sullivan Central Thursday night, the Lady Cyclones traveled back to Sullivan East Friday to take on the number-one seed Unicoi County Lady Blue Devils.
With Unicoi County being undefeated in conference play this season, the Lady Cyclones were looking for an upset on a gloomy night in Bluff City.
On the heels of three home runs in the game for the Lady Blue Devils, Elizabethton was not able to keep up, losing their first tournament game 10-0.
After drawing a walk to start the first inning, the Lady Cyclones weren’t able to get the bats going with three straight outs afterward.
The Lady Blue Devils wasted no time scoring after starting pitcher Allee Griffith hit a deep home run to straightaway center field, bringing herself and one additional runner across the plate to score.
The Lady Cyclones were able to work their way out of the jam though, sitting down the third and final batter.
In the second inning, the Lady Cyclones would come close but they were not able to bring anyone home in their half of the inning.
Unicoi would add on to their lead with two more deep balls in the bottom of the second. With Carlie Kinsler hitting a solo shot and Haley Hawkins hitting a two-run homer the Lady Blue Devils were now in front 5-0.
The Lady Cyclones stroke of bad luck would continue in the third inning of play as Maggie Johnson reached on a single but was left stranded.
Unicoi, however, would continue to score after a wild pitch brought a runner to the plate, making this a 6-0 affair.
The Lady Cyclones were looking to get something started in the top of the fourth inning as starter Madisun Pritchard was hit by a pitch and catcher Haley Fair was able to get aboard as a result of a single to left field.
But Elizabethton once again caught themselves in a storm of bad luck leaving both runners stranded.
In the bottom frame, the Lady Blue Devils were still red hot as a single to right field by Casey Selvage brought one more runner across the plate giving Unicoi a seven-run cushion.
In the fifth and what would be the final inning of play, the Lady Cyclones couldn’t find a way to get the odds to swing in their favor as they were out in three straight batters.
With two runners on board already in the bottom frame, the Lady Blue Devils added on to their lead with an RBI single to left field.
Unicoi County would put two additional runs on the board while at the plate resulting in the umpires ending the game in the bottom of the fifth on the 10-run mercy rule.
After a devastating loss, it is now do or die for this Elizabethton ball club.
When asked how the team is planning to bounce back and stay alive, head coach Kenny Hardin said, “We’re gonna come back and give it everything we’ve got. This is a resilient bunch, we’ve not had the year we wanted but we are gonna come back, play hard, and play strong.”
The Lady Cyclones continued their tournament run Monday night when they took on the Lady Cougars from Sullivan Central at Sullivan East High School.