White County High School softball headed to regionals


The White County High School Warriorettes’ softball team spent last week battling their way back from a first-round loss in the 6AAA district tournament to become the tournament runner-up and move on to the regional tournament.

After losing a heartbreaker to rival Rhea County, on May 6, the Warriorettes got back on track, with a strong offensive outing, to support some great pitching by Savanna Barr and Kamryn McClatchy who combined to give up just two hits, while striking out nine batters against Stone Memorial, on May 11.

Caydra Parker got things started right from the beginning, hitting a triple in the first inning. The next batter, Taylor Roberts was hit by a pitch and then advanced to second on the first pitch to Ashlynn Phillips. After Phillips struck out, Abigayle Finan hit a strong single to left field, scoring both Parker and Roberts, to give White County an early 2-0 lead.

The Warriorettes put another run on the board in the second inning when Hannah Kate Sims doubled on a line drive to right field and then scored two batters later when Savannah Jones doubled as well.

In the third inning, Roberts hit a hard ground ball to center field and then stole second on the first pitch to Phillips, the next batter. Phillips didn’t reach base, but Roberts scored when Finan singled. Madisyn Houghton followed up Finan’s single with one of her own, which scored Cassie Williams, who was courtesy running for the catcher. Addison Abell hit a hard ground ball to center field that scored Houghton and pushed White County’s mid-game lead to 6.

In the fourth inning, Savannah Jones got things started with a single to center field  and then Caydra Parker drew a walk. After Roberts was out on a pop up in foul territory, Phillips hit a fly ball to centerfield that scored Jones and then advanced to second when the throw from the outfield came in to hold Parker at third. Finan hit a ground ball right at the shortstop and was thrown out but recorded an RBI when Parker crossed the plate on the throw making the score White County 8, Stone Memorial 0 at the end of four.

With Stone Memorial still not on the score board after five innings, the Warriorettes were able to put the game away on the run-rule. Abell singled to get the inning started but was quickly replaced by pinch runner Lordis Northern. After the next two batters failed to reach base, Jones and Caydra Parker hit back-to-back doubles to push two runners across the plate and give the Warriorettes the 10-0 win.

With one win and one loss recorded in the double-elimination style tournament, the Warriorettes continued playing for the chance to keep their season alive, on May 12, when they faced the Cookeville Lady Cavs, in a win or go home game for both teams.

Once again, the Warriorettes came in with strong appearances at the plate to back up Ashlynn Phillips who was in the circle for the complete game, giving up just two runs on two hits while striking out ten.

White County took the early lead when Caydra Parker singled to center and then scored on a double by Phillips.

The one to nothing score held until the bottom of the fourth when Phillips hit a solo homerun to lead off the Warriorettes half of the inning. A single by Finan, a fielder’s choice by Houghton, and a double by Sims put another run on the scoreboard and the inning ended with White County up by 3.

After another scoreless inning for Cookeville, Savannah Jones doubled to lead off for the Warriorettes in the bottom of the fifth inning. Caydra Parker walked, and Taylor Roberts laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners but was safe herself on a throwing error by the first baseman. With Phillips back up to bat, Jones stole home and Parker took third base. Phillips hit a sacrifice fly that scored Parker and moved Roberts to third. Before the inning ended, Finan singled allowing Roberts to score and giving the Warriorettes a 6 - 0 lead.

In the sixth inning, the Lady Cavs got on the board with two runs, but it wasn’t enough as White County added four more runs of their own. Sarah Parker drew a walk, and, with two outs, Caydra Parker hit a single to first, and then Roberts was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Phillips hit a strong line drive to left field that scored two runs before Finan followed up with a single that scored Roberts and moved Phillips to third. Phillips scored when Houghton reached first base safely on a throwing error by the Cookeville third baseman.

With the Lady Cavs not putting any additional runs on the board in the seventh inning, White County took the win 10-2 and moved on to face Warren County on May 13.

Taking the field as the visiting team for the first time in the 6AAA district tournament, the Warriorettes were able to grind out a win against neighboring Warren County behind split pitching by Addison Abell and Phillips.

Abell started the game in the circle, going six innings and giving up four runs on eight hits. She was able to strike out five while walking just one batter. Phillips relieved Abell for part of the fifth inning and gave up one run on two hits while walking two, before Abell took back over the pitching duties at the start of the sixth inning. 

In a game in which the Warriorettes recorded just eight hits, White County made the most out of their time one base.

In the third inning, Sarah Parker was hit by a pitch, Savannah Jones singled, and Caydra Parker walked to load the bases for Taylor Roberts. Roberts hit a single that scored Sarah Parker and Jones and put the first runs on the board in what had been a pitcher’s duel for the first two innings.

After Abell kept the Warren County batters for the third inning in a row, the Warriorettes added another run to their side of the score board when Houghton singled and scored on a hit by Hannah Kate Sims.

In the top of the fifth inning, Warren County broke through and put together four singles and a fielder’s choice to get on the scoreboard. White County answered with three runs of their own in the same inning, however. A Caydra Parker triple, walk by Roberts, and a single by Phillips scored one and put runners on the corners with nobody out. Two batters later, Houghton hit a sacrifice fly to the Warren County center fielder that scored Roberts and moved Phillips to third. Phillips then took advantage of a wild pitch on a 2-2 count to Abell and stole home, making the score 6 to 1 in favor of the White County Warriorettes.

A series of singles and walks by Warren County in the top of the sixth inning made things interesting as they scored four runs, cutting the Warriorettes lead to just one run.

Caydra Parker started the seventh inning with a triple and Roberts was again hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. After a pop fly by Phillips, Abigayle Finan hit into a fielder’s choice in which Warren County attempted to throw out Parker, but the throw wasn’t in time to match Parker’s speed and she crossed the plate safely, giving the Warriorette pitching staff an insurance run.

The 7 to 5 score held as Abell was able to hold on and get three quick outs after giving up a leadoff double in the final frame.

The win over Warren County put the Warriorettes in the championship game against Rhea County the same night, but the offense couldn’t keep things going and they fell to the tournament hosts for the second time.

However, the week-long fight to keep their season alive was well rewarded as the White County High School Warriorettes were named 6AAA District Tournament Runner-Ups and earned a trip to the Regional Tournament, ensuring that the 2021 seniors will play a few more games in the maroon and gray.       


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