Their first league loss in 10 years has put the Jellico Lady Blue Devil softball team in the unfamiliar role of district runner-up and underdog going into this week’s tournament at Hancock County.
However, a 13-0 shutout of league foe Cosby High School last Wednesday served notice that Jellico (5-1 district, 13-8 overall) is still a force to be reckoned with on the softball diamond.
Noel Tiller struck out nine Cosby batters to earn the decision.
Brittany Hughes accounted for nearly half of the Lady Blue Devils’ runs. She drove in five on just two hits and also scored on a throwing error.
“The girls have improved to a point where they can compete,” said Jellico coach Nancy Douglas.
“They’ve adjusted to the changes we’ve made.”
Hughes sparked the landslide victory with a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the second inning. She came home to make it 5-0.
Tabitha Jones scored on a wild pitch and drove in a run with a sacrifice to push Jellico’s lead to 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Felisha Lamb had an RBI to push Jellico’s lead to double digits and bring the 10-run slaughter rule into play. Hughes had a 2-run single and Courtney Baird came home to close out the Lady Blue Devils’ scoring.
Jellico High’s baseball team also routed Cosby, 12-0, to clinch a number two seed in this week’s District 2-A Tournament at Newport.
Ryan Morris went the distance for the Blue Devils (5-2 district, 8-9 overall) who needed just five innings to dispatch the Eagles.
Josh Kennedy had a double and pair of singles to lead Jellico hitters, while Sammy Morris had a double, Ryan Morris had a triple and an RBI, and Brent Johnson had a single and an RBI.
The Blue Devils had beaten the Eagles, 21-5, at Cosby two days earlier.
“We lost a close one last week to Austin-East, but the boys are coming along pretty good,” said Jellico coach Randy Moses.
“We’re swinging the bat pretty good.”
Jellico was scheduled to begin tournament play on Tuesday at Washburn, but five days of rain have made fields muddy and unplayable.