Pigeon Forge rolls past Gatlinburg-Pittman, 11-1
Pigeon Forge kept its district softball record flawless with a dominant 11-1 victory at county rival Gatlinburg-Pittman night.
"It was a good win for us," said Pigeon Forge coach Jessica Henry. "G-P fought hard, but I just think we came ready to play and showed it on the field.
"I’m not really surprised. I’m happy with it more than anything. I’m glad my girls came out and worked hard for it. They earned it.
"It was the best we’ve played this year. It’s a county rivalry, and everyone loves to play this game. Our girls just brought everything they had today."
The Pigeon Forge pitching was a force all night as starter Jessie Sharp allowed just two hits and a walk, recording nine strike outs in four frames of work. Relief pitcher Alisha Norris took the mound for the final three innings and allowed a run on four hits, but she helped limit the damage with four Ks on the night.
Pigeon Forge’s Mackenzie Murphy — who finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored — was a foreshadowing of things to come as she led off the contest with a double to center field and a stolen base to third, before being plated for an early 1-0 lead by short stop Carson Montgomery on an RBI ground out.
Montgomery broke free of a recent dry spell to become the Tigers’ offensive hero of the night, going 3-for-5 with a double, triple and four RBI in the win.
In all, eight Tigers accounted for 16 hits in the contest.
Sharp had two RBI on a double and a triple. Macie Adkins and Jimena Meza each had two hits with an RBI double apiece. BrieAnna Styles had two hits, including a double. Norris had an RBI base knock, and Morgan Messick added a single for the Orange and Black.
Pigeon Forge (3-1 overall, 3-0 in District 3AA) scored one run in the first inning, three in the third, one in the fifth and six in the seventh frame to cruise to the 10-run victory.
As for the homestanding Highlanders (5-2 overall, 2-1 in District 3AA), it just wasn’t their night. G-P was missing four players due to illness and injury with a fifth playing sick, but the Blue and Gold didn’t use that as an excuse for their first district loss of the season.
"That had no impact on them beating us 11-1," said G-P coach Haley Johnson. "We played a little timid, and the girls have to learn to win.
"They’re doing everything they need to do to get there, but when we get between the lines, we need to have the confidence that we’re supposed to be on this field and that we can compete with anybody."
The lone G-P run came in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the Pigeon Forge lead to 5-1 at the time.
After Kylie Loveday reached on a two-out single and stole second base, Abbie Kelley drove her in with a single to right.
Loveday had two of the Lady Highlanders’ six hits, including a double. Dannie Luczak also had a ground-rule double that was just inches from clearing the fence in the bottom of the seventh. And Cassidy Richardson and Jerri Laffew added a single apiece in the loss.