Team Tennessee rolls to All-Star Softball Classic twinbill sweep
Over the last few years, the Stump on Sports TennesseeGeorgia All-Star Softball Classic has been highlighted by close games and offensive outbursts.
The 21st edition of the Classic was held last Tuesday night at Chattanooga’s Frost Stadium and while there were plenty of offensive stars on display, they all formerly played for schools north of the state line.
Team Tennessee got a record six total RBIs from Hannah Wood (Red Bank) and two outstanding pitching performances from Shelby Walters (GPS) and Ashley Rogers (Meigs County) as the recent Volunteer State graduates swept their counterparts from the Peach State, 9-1 and 8-0 in the annual doubleheader.
Tennessee 9, Georgia 1
The opening game saw Tennessee blow it open early with four runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead. Haley Smith (GPS) drove in a first-inning run with a single, while Wood delivered the big blow with a two-run double in the second inning. Cheyenne Lindsey (Baylor) and Peri Prestwood (Soddy-Daisy) also came through with RBIs in the frame.
Tennessee would add a sixth run on an RBI-groundout by Smith in the fourth inning and the Volunteer State would tack on three final runs in the sixth. Kaili Phillips (Silverdale Baptist) roped a two-run double while another run scored on an error.
Georgia had just six base runners in the game. They pushed home a run in the bottom of the fourth as Gracey Kruse (Gordon Lee) singled and moved all the way to third on an error before scoring on a passed ball. However, Walters would strike out three straight batters with two runners in scoring position to escape further damage.
Kruse added a double to lead off the bottom of the sixth, but was left stranded. She was the only Georgia player to collect multiple hits in the opener. Kaylee Womack (Ringgold) and Madi Morris (Heritage) had one hit each in the loss.
Walters got the win, allowing just three hits in four innings of work with nine strikeouts. Wood threw the last two innings, striking out one and surrendering just the one hit.
Erin Carney (Armuchee) allowed five runs on nine hits in three innings to take the loss for Team Georgia. Anna Cowan (Pepperell) threw the last three innings. She gave up four runs on three hits and struck out two.
Kamrie Rich (Baylor) had the only multi-hit game for Team Tennessee, who recorded 12 hits in the contest.
Tennessee 8, Georgia 0
In the nightcap, Team Georgia could not solve the riddle of the Meigs County ace as Rogers faced the minimum through five innings. She did not allow a single hit, nor did she allow a single ball to escape the infield as she recorded 10 strikeouts.
Sydni Rogers (Silverdale Baptist) threw the final inning, retiring the side in order with one strikeout to polish off what became the first perfect game in All-Star Classic history.
Ally Chernak (Ooltewah) had two hits and drove in a run in the Game 2 victory, while Wood had a threerun homer in the fifth inning and provided the walk-off RBI-single in the sixth that ended the game on the run rule.
Rogers helped herself with a sacrifice fly in the first inning to bring in a run and Walters followed up with a two-run single to stake Tennessee to the early 3-0 lead.
Morris started the game for Georgia, but faced just three batters before being replaced by Carney, who worked the next five innings. Morris would take the loss for Georgia. Cowan would record the first two outs in the bottom of the sixth before Tennessee would get the final two runs to end the game.
Ashley Rogers went on to earn the Stump Martin Most Valuable Player of the Game award, while Walters took home Tennessee Player of the Game honors.
Georgia Player of the Game honors went to Womack, who thrilled the crowd with numerous highlightquality plays at third base in both games.