White County High School Warriorette softball has a long history of putting talented athletes on the field, many of whom have gone on to have collegiate careers, but this year’s team got to put their own spin on the history of the program: they finished first in the district.
“This is the first time anyone can remember that White County softball was district champs,” Warriorettes’ coach Jerry Roberts.
Roberts said the team has finished 7-1 in the district, which is enough to finish as 6AAA co-champions, a title they share with Warren County.
The Warriorettes clinched the historical finish when they defeated Rhea County 7 to 4, on April 22, 2021. The win didn’t come easily, and the White County team showed their competitiveness to bring home the final district win.
White County came out swinging, scoring four runs in the first inning. Savannah Jones started the offensive run when she singled but was put out at second when Caydra Parker reached first on a fielder’s choice. Parker stole second getting the first run into scoring position before Taylor Roberts hit a pop fly. An error by Rhea County resulted in Roberts making it safely to first and Parker advancing to third. Ashlynn Phillips then drew a walk to load the bases for Abigayle Finan. Finan singled, driving in Parker and keeping the bases loaded for Madisyn Houghton, who cleared the bases with a double.
Rhea County scored a run in the bottom of the first to make the score 4 to 1, a score that would hold until the fifth inning when Phillips hit a two-run homerun to extend White County’s lead.
In the sixth inning, the Warriorettes fought hard to add a single insurance run to their side of the scoreboard. Sarah Parker singled and then advanced to second on a Jones single. Caydra Parker hit a fly ball to right field for what turned into a double play when Sarah Parker was tagged out trying to advance. With Jones still on first and two outs, Roberts hit a single to put runners on first and second for Philips who doubled scoring Jones. However, the inning ended when Roberts was tagged out while trying to get an extra base.
Rhea County answered the Warriorettes’ excitement with a strong offensive showing in the bottom half of the inning, however, their rally fell short, and they were only able to add three runs to the scoreboard, closing the gap 7-4.
After neither team was able to score in the seventh and final inning, White County’s win over their district opponent, their final district game of the season, ensured them the tie with Warren County for first place in the standings.
Addison Abell was the winning pitcher for White County. Abell surrendered four runs on seven hits over seven innings, striking out six. Warriorettes totaled 10 hits in the game. Savannah Jones, who led the team with three hits in four at bats, Taylor Roberts, and Phillips all collected multiple hits for White County. Finan, Houghton, and Sarah Parker each had one hit.
Madalyn Ray took the loss for Rhea County. The pitcher lasted two innings, allowing four hits and four runs while striking out just one batter.
“This group of ladies has worked so hard this year and [they] deserve everything they have accomplished so far,” Coach Roberts said after the win. “Led by our outstanding pitching staff, I believe this team has a chance to go all the way to the state tournament.”
The Warriorettes are 17-7 on the season, with one week of regular season ball left to play. The 6AAA District Tournament begins May 6 and will be played in Rhea County.