The softball season is over for the Oak Ridge Lady Wildcats, but coaches and players are proud of the effort in their last game, a 1-0 district tournament loss to Anderson County on Monday.
Oak Ridge, the number eight seed in District 3-AAA, played into the district tournament with a 14-2 win over Campbell County, the number nine seed, at home on Tuesday, May 2.
The Lady Wildcats then had to play Powell in a District 3-AAA quarterfinal at Halls. Powell was the top seed in the district tournament and undefeated in District 3-AAA during the regular season, with a 16-0 record.
Oak Ridge Coach Nelson Glover said the girls were outmatched against the Lady Panthers, and they lost 15-0 on Wednesday, May 3.
That loss bumped Oak Ridge into the losers bracket of the district tournament on Monday, May 8, also at Halls.
In that game, the Lady Wildcats fought valiantly against Anderson County, the number four seed, Glover said. Oak Ridge held the Lady Mavericks to one run.
“Caroline Tobler pitched a two-hit gem against a team that is known for hitting home runs,” Glover said. “The defense shined against Anderson County as the Oak Ridge outfield (Emily Brewer, Mollie Turner, Kelsey Benjamin) made many plays that deserve TV highlights.
“Not to be outdone, the infield (Bailey Watkins, Kaitlan Paine, Monica Porter, Jenna Murphy) caught everything hit at them, keeping the game tight at 1-0 through seven innings. This score could not be accomplished without good catching provided by junior Hannah Tobler.
“I was very proud of our girls for representing the community, school, and team by playing hard with tenacity and class. It was a hard-fought contest, and we left everything on the field. Coach Seibert did a great job of working with Caroline and preparing her for this tournament game. We are both pleased with the effort and camaraderie of the team.”
It was a double-elimination tournament, meaning Oak Ridge continued playing after the first loss to Powell but was eliminated with the second loss to Anderson County.
Before playing Oak Ridge, Anderson County lost its first district tournament game to Karns, a 5-4 defeat on Wednesday, May 3. After beating the Lady Wildcats on Monday, the Lady Mavericks were eliminated from the district tournament in a 3-2 loss to Halls on Wednesday, May 10.
The Lady Wildcats will lose five seniors, all starters, after this season: Jenna Murphy (first base), Mollie Turner (center field), Mikaela Porter (designated player), Kelsey Benjamin (right field), and Kaitlan Paine (shortstop), captain.
The returning starters are junior Monica Porter (second base); junior Hannah Tobler (catcher); junior Emily Brewer (left field); pitchers (Caroline Tobler, Hannah Phillips, and Kiana LaRock); and sophomore Mady McEntire (designated player).
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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