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Jellico girls edge CCHS, 17-14

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By Dwane Wilder

High school softball games don’t get much better than the one last Wednesday between rivals Jellico and Campbell County.

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During an early season contest that featured half a dozen lead changes, it was the host Lady Blue Devils that were able to pull out a 17-14 victory.

Both teams were winless coming into the game. Jellico improved to 1-4 overall, while Campbell County dropped to 0-3.

Abby Tiller picked up the win for the Lady Blue Devils. She struck out five batters. Lady Cougars’ ace Alex Hempsall, who fanned six batters, was tagged with the loss.

Hempsall scored the first run of the game when she stole home on a wild pitch in the top of the first inning. 

Amber Day led off the bottom of the first with a double for Jellico. Later, catcher Courtney Charles reached on an error that allowed two runs to score for a 2-1 Lady Blue Devils lead.

Campbell County regained the upper hand, 3-2, in the top of the second inning, when a Jellico error allowed Harley Duvall and Meghan Byrge to score. Hempsall also smacked a double during the inning.

Jellico grabbed the lead again in the bottom of the second. Selena Hamblin stole home, and Brittany Kennedy had an inside-the-park 2-run homer for a 5-3 advantage.

Tiller also had a double.

Lady Blue Devils’ left fielder Stephanie Lay robbed Byrge of an extra base hit with an impressive catch of a long fly ball in the top of the third. 

Shortstop Destany Creekmore led off the bottom of the third with a double for Jellico. The Lady Blue Devils padded their lead with an RBI from Hamblin

Byrge made a great catch in left field for the third out.

Campbell County regained the upper hand, 8-6, with four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Alyssa Miller and Katey Ridenour each drove in a run, while Hempsall and Mary Hickman stole home.

Jellico broke into the lead again, 9-8, in the bottom of the fourth with RBI from Tiller and Angelina Rookard and a run from Christina Chitwood.

The Lady Cougars refused to go away, however, and took a 12-9 lead in the top of the fifth with an RBI from Ridenour and runs from Hempsall, Miller and Hickman.

Tiller tied the game 12-12 with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Campbell County took its last lead, 13-12, when Rylee Oakes scored from first on throwing errors in the top of the sixth inning.

Jellico rallied with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good, 17-13.

Creekmore scored on a double steal. Hamblin then drove in Rookard for the go-ahead run. Kennedy had an RBI, and Day stole home.

The Lady Cougars got one last shot to try and win the game in the top of the seventh. Hickman stole home, but Campbell County could not get another runner across the plate.

The two teams are scheduled to meet again on April 20 at Campbell County.