Sevier County softball team earns first win
It finally came together for the Sevier County softball team on Monday.
Led by a clutch, two-run single from Laura Ratledge in the sixth and a three-hit day from Emily Lavoie, the Bearettes powered their way to a 7-4 win over Gatlinburg-Pittman.
“I think they now see that we don’t get hurt when we put 100 percent in and we dive,” said Sevier County coach Ashley Miller. “I think that shows them we can play with everybody. We can do what coach wants us to do. It was exciting. That was almost like a turning point. Not that we’re going to go out and win every single game but they now know that they can do what I’m asking them to do.”
The Bearettes rallied from 3-2 down in the third when Lavoie led off with a single. A pair of walks, an error and another hit helped Sevier County score three runs that inning to take the lead.
But the biggest offensive inning was the sixth. The Highlanders had inched within a run thanks to Kelsey Henry’s second run of the game in the fifth. The Bearettes got critical insurance an inning later when Jana Watkins led off with a double and Destiny Sutton reached on an error. Ratledge drove them both in.
“If we’re down one run going into the seventh, I can bunt (Jerri Leffew) over,” said G-P coach Haley Johnson. “Then all it takes is one swing to get her in and tie the game. But when you’re down three, you’ve just got to let them swing it. They made some great plays.”
Brooke Whaley got the win for Sevier County, striking out three. Bethanie Trees reached base three times for the Highlanders, finishing with a double and a run scored. Henry took the loss, striking out two and walking two. The Bearettes had 10 hits.
“We just kind of came out lackadaisical,” Johnson said. “I could tell at BP today. If we don’t fix that, we’re not going to win many more ballgames.”
William Blount 5, Pigeon Forge 0
MARYVILLE — The Governors scored all five runs in the first, thanks in part to a grand slam.
Jessie Sharp relieved starter Alisha Norris to shut down William Blount over the final five innings but the Tigers couldn’t bring any runs home. Morgan Messick and Carson Montgomery had two hits each for Pigeon Forge.
Sevier County 7, Cocke County 1
SEVIERVILLE — Nick Osborne struck out eight, walked two and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning to shut down the Fighting Cocks on Monday.
“I just went out and pitched,” Osborne said. “I let my defense play behind me. Everything worked out, I guess.”
The support the Smoky Bears gave Osborne on the scoreboard didn't hurt. Sevier County scored two in the first off an error and a pair of singles. The lead ballooned to 5-0 in the third when Dallas Gossett and Osborne picked up RBI hits. Osborne would later score on an error.
“I feel like we’re just kind of cruising through right now,” said Bears coach Casey Taylor. “We’re not trying to get too worked up over a certain game or a certain team. But we don’t need to drop off either. We’re in a good place.”
Union County 7, G-P 3
GATLINBURG — Isaiah Morris drove in two runs on a hit in the fourth with no outs but the Highlanders couldn’t bring any more across in the inning, killing G-P’s momentum.
Highlanders coach Josh Warner said it was another example of outs his team gave away. The same thing happened in the first when a misplayed fly ball helped Union County score two.
“We just got to clean it up,” Warner said. “Eventually I feel like we will. … We’re in the games. We’re giving other teams too many opportunities.”
Ryan Garza took the loss, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing six runs. He struck out two and walked four. Kyle Viers had an RBI single in the sixth.
Monday’s loss came on the heels of a 7-4 defeat to Greenbriar last week. Austin Acor was 2 for 4 in that game with an RBI.
Pigeon Forge 13, Fulton 3
PIGEON FORGE — The Tigers bounced back from consecutive losses to Unicoi County last week by routing the Falcons.
Freshman Bryson Sullivan finished with six RBI and scored twice. Scott LaFollette, Thomas Simms and Seth LaFollette each scored twice.
Simms got the win, allowing three runs off seven hits while striking out four. He walked one.
The win came after the Tigers dropped a wild, 12-11 decision to Unicoi on Thursday before losing 12-5 on Friday. The first game went nine innings and Pigeon Forge led throughout, except in the ninth when the hosts rallied for the win.
G-P sweeps Sevier County
GATLINBURG — The Highlander boys won 8-1, taking every match but first singles while the girls picked up a 6-3 victory.
Tucker Shults, Ben Roberts and Noah Bettis all picked up two victories for the G-P boys. Will Jones was the lone winner for the Smoky Bears, beating Tanner Cox 8-2 at first singles.
G-P dominated girls doubles to earn the sweep. The Highlanders won all three doubles matches with Abby Fortner, Mikayla Huskey and Katherine Miller adding singles victories.