Jellico’s accumulated five errors on Tuesday night against the Lady Highlanders, sealed their doom in an 11-8 loss.
Those five errors, combined with a six-run second inning for Scott County was too much for the Lady Blue Devils to overcome.
“In past games, we haven’t done that with the ball,” Jellico head coach Nancy Douglas said. “We haven’t had the (errors), but we’ve got to be able to step up. We haven’t played anybody from our district. That’s coming next week, and we have to be ready for that. I’m hoping that this is going to be a learning experience today.”
After a 1-1 tie going into the second inning, Scott County’s bats came alive.
The Lady Highlanders’ used only three hits in the inning in order to score six runs, as Jellico walked three with one hit-by-pitch.
“We started getting down on ourselves, and we really pulled back together,” pitcher Abby Tiller said. “I feel like we stepped up (later in the game), but it was hard the first couple of innings. I’d say we did pull it back together.”
Coming out of the second inning, the knotted ballgame had turned into a 7-1 Scott County lead.
Much like Tiller said, Douglas knew her team just wasn’t in it.
“We should have had this,” she said. “We needed this before we start our district.
“We didn’t have our heads in the game. I don’t want to make any excuses for anybody. It was a team foul up there.”
However, the fifth inning went to Jellico.
The Lady Blue Devils combined for four singles and a double, as they scored five runs to cut Scott County’s lead to only two, 8-6.
“They’re capable of that,” Douglas said. “They’re capable of it. We’ve got nine girls that can step up and hit the ball. We have to get our heart in this, I think, and by next week, I think we will. We’ll have our heart, our head and our soul into this game.”
The loss moves Jellico to a 4-2 record on the season.
To Tiller, that’s a big move, considering last year’s total.
“I’m happy that we started off the season great,” she said. “We’re stepping it up this year. We won four games last year, so we’re already coming back.”
“We’re 4-2 right now, so we’re doing pretty good,” Rachel Ayers, who went 2-for-3 on the day, continued. “We’re pretty excited, and we hope to do good in our district.”
For Douglas, however, the win on Tuesday would have been sweet.
“We wanted this 5-1 today, but I guess we’ll live with it,” Douglas said. “I’m excited for these girls. I think this is going to be their year to pull things out. They’ve just got to get off to the right start.”
Jellico got things started early, as Brittany Kennedy walked in the leadoff position. A stolen base, combined with sacrifices from Emily Hughes and Steph Lay, scored Kennedy in the first inning for a 1-0 score.
Errors came into play in the bottom of the first for Jellico. Mariah Hall walked before stealing second base. A throwing error by Hughes scored Mariah Hall for an unearned run from second, as Marki Hall reached first safely. Going into the second inning, the game was tied 1-1.
The second inning went easily to Scott County. Whitney Byrge led off with a single up the middle, before Darcy King drew a base-on-balls. A single to short by Desirae Burris scored both runners, before Alex Kazee was grazed by a pitch. A walk by Courtney Wright was quickly followed by a single to short-stop by Mariah Hall. Wright scored on the play. An infield fly by Anna Sexton saw an error by Lindsey Buckner score Mariah Hall. The Lady Highlanders led 7-1 going into the third.
Two more errors during the fourth inning scored another run for Scott County. Anna Sexton scored from third after she reached on an error. The Lady Highlanders led 8-1.
The fifth inning went to Jellico, as they mounted their rally. A single to right by Buckner and Katie Cox reaching on a fielding error put two runners on. Kennedy laced a single into right, scoring Buckner. Hughes quickly followed suit, singling to short, scoring Cox. Tiller doubled to left, as Sarah Prewitt came in to run. A wild pitch couldn’t be found by the catcher, as Prewitt managed to race two bases for the score. Going into the sixth inning, Jellico trailed 8-6.
However, a three-run inning in the sixth proved to be the dagger. Two doubles and a single for Scott County gave them an 11-8 lead heading into the final inning.
Jellico’s last effort came from Destany Creekmore and Tiller. The two combined for back-to-back blasts to left-center, rounding the bases for the final score of 11-8.
“We needed the bases loaded on that, though,” Douglas said with a laugh. “Both of those girls are capable of doing that. They didn’t do it beforehand, but they stepped up there. We needed to be able to pull that off in the beginning innings.”