Junior pitcher Lindsey Cunningham erased the bad taste of Monday’s 7-1 loss to Science Hill by tossing a two-hit shutout in a non-conference match with Unaka on Wednesday afternoon at Hicks Field.
EHS (16-11 overall) had their hitting shoes on as well rapping out 10 hits in a 5-0 victory as the Lady Rangers aided the Lady Cyclone cause with five errors in the field to allow four unearned runs.
Unaka pitcher Leslie Colbaugh retired the first two Cyclone hitters she faced in the top of the first, but Cunningham ripped a ground ball scorcher to short that travelled all the way to the fence in left field for a two out double.
Reazyn DeMoss plated her with a single to left that was compounded when the throw from the outfield overshot the cutoff allowing DeMoss to take second.
“We shouldn’t be making these kinds of errors at this point of the season,” said Lady Rangers head coach Carrie Stevens. “We’re young, but we have played almost the whole season now, so were really not young anymore. We have players who have experience, but the leadership has to come from the team, not the coaches.”
Cyclones catcher Caley Hodge singled to left to set up a first and third scenario and Ashleigh Dykes settled that with an infield hit that brought home DeMoss with the second Cyclone run of the inning.
Colbaugh retired Casey Jones to end the threat, but gave Cunningham a lead to work with. Cunningham retired the Rangers (8-18 overall) in the first with shortstop Kassie Winters dropping a two out single on the right field line.
From there Cunningham retired 10 consecutive Lady Ranger hitters striking out four of the seven K’s that she would register in the game.
A double by Colbaugh to open the last of the fifth was the only other hit Unaka could muster against Cunningham on this day.
“Lindsey was really on it today,” said EHS head coach Leanne Click. “Seven strikeouts and she had a double at the plate. Sophie homered, and it was her first. She is always on base, setting the table for others so it was nice to set her hit that home run.”
In the top of the fifth Bremer led off with a shot over the fence in left-centerfield to give EHS a 3-0 lead. Cunningham followed with a single to center and DeMoss sent Unaka’s Brandi Ensor to the fence in deep center where she caught the ball like a snow cone, but couldn’t hold on, which put Cyclone runners on first and second.
A single by Dykes loaded the bases and a single by Jones gave EHS a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth the cyclones got another run on a hit by Emily Thornton, a Unaka error and a fielder’s choice grounder by Bremer for her second RBI of the game.
“We played great defense today, amazing defense and we stayed aggressive at the plate,” Click said. “We left some runners on base, but got enough of them around to win. We have a tough game tomorrow at UH and then our tournament this weekend so there are still games to play before the district tournament starts.”
EHS 6, Unaka 2
The JV Lady Rangers held a 2-1 lead through three frames before the EHS junior varsity knotted things up at 2-2 in the fourth. Kassie Winters had an RBI hit in the first inning for Unaka and Colbaugh came through for the Rangers in the second.
EHS got a single by Summer Reece in the fourth and she scored when Winters snagged a line drive off the bat of Sarah Bradley then threw to second for the double play, but neither the shortstop or second baseman caught the ball for an error that scored Reece to tie the game.
In the fifth EHS rapped out six hits to plate four runs with an infield fly by Whitney Guinn going for two Cyclone runs.
The home plate umpire called the infield fly rule on the hit, but the ball went over the head of the Ranger second baseman, as the infield was playing in for the bunt, and she was not able to catch the ball which rolled into center field.
Destiny Piroux followed with an RBI knock as did Megan Bowers to make it a 6-2 final score.
— — —
EHS 200 021 0 – 5 10 0
Unaka 000 000 0 – 0 2 5
E- Cunningham and Hodge. U – Colbaugh and J. Matheson
W – Cunningham. L – Colbaugh.
DP : EHS 1. LOB – EHS 9, UHS 2. HR – Bremer. 2B – Cunningham
EHS 100 14 – 6
Unaka 110 00 – 2
W- Thornton. L- Winters.