Last night, the Cherokee Bluff Bears traveled to Fannin County to take on the Lady Rebels for their second region softball game of the season. Fannin had just come from a tough 12-4 loss to Greater Atlanta Christain and hoped to earn their first region win.
The Rebels defense was solid to start off the game. Kaelyn Hensely started off the game on the mound where eighteen of her first pitches thrown were strikes. Sophomore, Riley Davis, had quick hands at shortstop where she made a lot of big plays throughout the night. Emily Waldrep had a busy night as the Bears favorite spot seemed to be center field. To earn the third out of the first inning, Waldrep ran forward to catch a pop fly and held the Bears. The senior showed off her speed as the leadoff batter when she was walked and snuck her way to second base when no one was covering. After Emily stole another base, Kayleigh Russell put down a sacrifice bunt to bring her home and earn the first run of the game, putting Fannin ahead 1-0.
Cherokee Bluff didn’t allow Fannin to keep their lead for long. They were able to put the ball in the perfect places to where the Rebels couldn’t catch them, putting them in perfect scoring position. On a Fannin error, they allowed a run to score, tying the game 1-1. The Bear’s pitcher had a perfect inning as she struck out all three of Fannin’s batters to end the second inning.
Although the Rebel’s were not able to make anything happen on offense, they were determined on defense to not let any runs score. Freshman, Zoe Putnam, had hustle at second base where she dove to stop the ball from going into the gap and held the runner at first base. Right after the great play, Kayleigh Russell had one of her own. The senior was hit a hard grounder where she tagged third base for a force out, then threw to first base for a double play. When it was Fannin’s turn to bat again, the Bears had another three in a row strikeouts to close the third inning with the score remaining 1-1.
Cherokee Bluff’s offense came alive at the start of the fourth inning. They were hitting the ball in all of the right places to where Fannin couldn’t make a play. Freshman, Josilyn Newton, came in to relieve Hensley from the mound following the 3.2 innings she pitched. Newton finished out the game from the mound, striking out one batter. After the Bears were able to put three more runs on the board, Fannin finally earned their third out from a strikeout, putting Cherokee Bluff in the lead with a score of 4-1. Although the Rebels started to put the ball into play on offense, the Bear’s defense was all over it and earned another perfect three outs in a row.
As the Bears continued to put runners on base and score, they found themselves with an 8-1 lead over Fannin to end the fourth inning. As the next three innings passed by, Fannin was able to hold Cherokee Bluff, but the trend continued. The Bears would continue to hit and get on base while they had perfect innings on defense with no runners on. The Bears were on fire in every aspect of the game. For five innings in a row, they had a perfect three up and three down outs. While Fannin had impressive plays on defense in the seventh inning with Newton catching a hard line drive and Eryn Mealer showing off her arm behind the plate to throw out a girl on a steal, it was not enough to make a comeback. As Cherokee Bluff made their third out in the seventh, they found themselves with a 8-1 victory over Fannin.
The Lady Rebels loss puts their overall record at 1-8 while their region record stands at 0-2. Catch Fannin’s next softball game as they travel to North Hall this Thursday to take on the Trojans at 6:30pm!