The Rutherford County middle school softball tournament got off to a great start at Oakland Middle last week. Oakland got the No. 1 seed with Stewarts Creek at 2, Blackman at 3, Rock Springs at 4, Siegel at 5 and Rockvale at 6.
In game 1, Central pitcher Kali Penny pitched a five inning one-hitter, while striking out 10 and getting a 12–0 win over Buchanan. Penny had two hits as did Abi Miga, Kayla Morton, Hayley Nicholson, Abby Frazier and Becca McGuire. Central made no errors and scored eight runs in the second inning.
The next day, La Vergne, behind two hits from Jacie Smiley and an eight-strikeout performance from pitcher Emily Harris, beat Smyrna 8–5.
On the same day, Rockvale beat Christiana 7-6, and the spirited Ravens upset Blackman 7–3 in their next game. Blackman, despite a two-run home run from pitcher Loryn Sherwood, never got much else going. Rockvale got the win due to the good defense from third baseman Elaina McGill and three hits from Jordan Komers. Cameron Case also had three hit, including a home run.
Behind Siegel pitcher Alissa Harden the Cavaliers shutout a good Rock Springs team 3 0.
Stewarts Creek, the No. 2 seed, made short work of La Vergne with a 12–0 win behind three hits from Presley Leebrick. The Falcons also got two hits each from Katie Kilirn, Ali Decker and their rock solid catcher Taylor Townley. Stewarts Creek followed that up with another shutout from their fine pitcher, Abby Holt, in a 12–0 win over a solid Rockvale squad.
Oakland, having already handled Central 10–2 behind pitcher Gracie Kirby’s one-hitter and three hits, including a triple and home run, jumped on Siegel with seven runs in the first and went on to win 9–4. Kirby had three more hits in the win over Siegel, while teammates Reagan Bogle and Sarah Lowe had two hits each. Mari Maxwell and Savannah Keaton had two hits each for Siegel.
The championship game featured the best two teams on a pleasant Sunday afternoon with storms expected later in the day. The storms hit after four innings of play. It then rained for three days and the championship game picked up on Thursday afternoon with Stewarts Creek enjoying a 6–2 lead over Oakland.
Both pitchers, Abby Holt for Stewarts Creek and Gracie Kirby, dominated the rest of the way, and although Oakland picked up another run in the sixth on a Madi Kimble double and a Christyne Ward RBI single, it wasn’t enough as Stewarts Creek won the tournament 6–3.
The difference was the Stewarts Creek pitcher, Holt, who scattered seven hits and the Falcon catcher Townley. The two worked together beautifully. For Stewarts Creek, Presley Leebrick had two hits and Ali Decker had two hits and three RBIs.
Every coach wants to win every time, naturally, but I like it when one team wins the league title (Oakland) and another wins the tournament (Stewarts Creek). Oakland finished the year 23–1 and Stewarts Creek finished 12–2. Two great years from talented and well-coached teams.
Special thanks to Oakland coach Charlotte Peay, who did a great job as host and to all the folks at Oakland who worked in the tournament.