Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 3, 2014

Lady Dogs bitten in regionals

BRISTOL, Va. — The deuces were too wild in a second inning that featured two hits, two errors and two runs for John Battle.

A decisive second inning put John Battle (19-4) ahead early and the battling Tazewell girls could not awaken the bats enough overcome the deficit as the Lady Trojans won a 2A West tournament opening round game 4-0 on Tuesday.

Abby Hensley held Tazewell to four hits, doubled off the left fence in the third, and pushed home a run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth frame to lead the way for Battle, which will now play Floyd at Lee High on Thursday. Tazewell ended its season.

The Lady Bulldogs stranded two runners in the first, two more in the third inning, and left the bases loaded in the seventh in a valiant effort which came just short.

“We were trying to keep Tazewell off base, off balance, and were able to do that for most of the game,” grinned Hensley, who is one of seven John Battle starting seniors. “We (seniors) have grown up together playing on this field and that experience helped us today. Tazewell has a very good team.

Kaci Fuller singled in the dramatic second and scored on Caitlinn Doss  shot that got through and went for a double. Following a Bulldog miscue, Doss came in to score on an errant throw as Battle grabbed a 2-0 advantage.

Kaycee Casteel ignited the next Lady Trojan score with a fifth-inning  infield single. Brooke Rutherford walked, and then after a ground out, Hensley’s roller enabled Casteel to race home with the third run.

Doss was again on the move in the sixth stanza when she reached on an infield error and moved to second when Sheri Jacobs walked. Doss came home following Tori Olsen’s single that squirted through and went to the wall, leaving the Trojans in front 4-0.

Tazewell did not go quietly.

Sierra Remines beat out a grounder to short before Karlee Wasilewski reached on an error. Gracey Cline then ripped a single up the middle to load the bases. Hard-hitting Dog senior Whitney Saunders then slapped a long line drive to center that was caught to end the game.

“We played hard with a mindset to win. It just wasn’t to be today” said Saunders, one of  three Tazewell seniors who had a pair of hits in the losing cause. “I am so proud of my team. We have a lot of freshman on the field and I think next year will be even better for the Lady Dogs.”

Tazewell’s pitcher, ninth grader Laken Sparks, whose defense was somewhat shaky at times, noted, “We did not give up. We played hard right to the last out. Our bench hitters came up big in the seventh inning and so that tells you our whole team was fighting right to the end.  It’s hard to talk about it (losing) right now but we will work hard and be better next year.”

Tazewell finished its season with an 11-12 record, one year after advancing to the state tournament.

“You could look at today as part one and part two. We got the first part down pretty well — we got people on base in several innings. We have work on the second part — driving them across the plate,” Keene said.

“Get ‘em on and then get ‘em in is what we have to do. We made a few mistakes today and you can’t get by with that against a good team like John Battle.

“We wish them the best. I am pleased and very proud of our  girls. They had a fine season, won some big games, and were fun to watch all year long. We’ll get busy to get better for next season.”

 At John S. Battle Field

Tazewell......................000  000  0  —  0  4  4

John Battle..................020  011  x  — 4  7  4

Sparks and Lee. Hensley and Casteel.

W—Hensley; L—Sparks.!

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