When the East Limestone High softball team came to Tanner High for a softball tournament earlier this spring, the Lady Indians had to wait around to play for several hours and the results weren’t too good.

Saturday at the Limestone County Varsity Softball Championships, East had a different strategy and the results were much different.

The Lady Indians still had to sit around throughout the day while waiting for other games to be completed before they could take their next opportunity to play.

But this time, head coach Brett Nave made sure the team was up and moving about in plenty of time to work out the stiffness.

As a result, except for a close call with Athens Bible School in the opening round, the Indians breezed through the competition and took home the championship after knocking off West Limestone 10-0 in the championship game.

“We had a team meeting that Monday after we got back and talked about what we didn’t do,” Nave said when the tournament was completed after 1 a.m. Sunday morning. “If you’re going to be a tournament team, you’ve got to adjust to everything that you do.

“They were different today. They stretched more. They tossed more. They did everything to get ready to play.”

After knocking off the Lady Wildcats 10-3 in the winners’ bracket final, the Lady Indians (34-11) waited almost three hours, while West weeded its way back to the championship round.

Tanner eliminated Elkmont 6-1, but with its line-up decimated by injuries, the Lady Rattlers were routed 15-0 by the Lady Wildcats.

West, though, could find none of that fire against the Lady Indians.

The first of two first-inning errors by the Lady Wildcats prolonged the inning, and Morgan Franks’ two-run double gave East a 3-0 lead.

Against East Limestone, right-hander Bee Medley, West Limestone head coach Lester Smith knew the hole was too deep already.

“When we played East both times we got down in the first inning, and when you’re going against her you can’t get down,” Smith said.

Medley allowed four hits, two from Andrea Griggs, while striking out eight and walking one.

The Indians, meanwhile, got four hits from eighth-grader Jyssica Pepper and three from Laura Tittsworth and poured it on late.

“We tried to stay into the games this time and not lay around and get lazy like we did last time,” Medley said. “Everybody stayed together as a team.

“Instead of going and doing their own thing, everybody stayed together here.”

Two more West Limestone errors led to two more runs, capped by Shannon Bowling’s sacrifice fly, in the second inning. Mallory Scott and Pepper had RBI hits in the fifth.

Pepper drove in another run with a single, and Medley and Laura Tittsworth plated runs in the seventh to finish off the scoring.

Scott, Tittsworth and Cassandra McKinney finished with two hits each. One of Scott’s was a RBI-double.

Griggs gave the Wildcats their best chance to score with her second hit, a one-out double in the sixth inning. But after Elizabeth Dison walked, Medley struck out Ashley Blankenship and got Natalie Harrison on a ground ball back to the mound.



Semifinals

West Limestone 15, Tanner 0

Dayla Christopher had three hits, including a double, to lead a 10-hit attack for the Lady Wildcats against the injury-depleted Lady Wildcats.

Ashley McGraw added a double and a triple, while Dison and Harrison had two hits each. Harrison’s hits including a double, and Dana Springer had a double as well.

The Lady Rattlers managed six hits, two from Hollye Keenum. Alex Bohanon had a double.



Quarterfinals

Tanner 6, Elkmont 1

Haley Keenum tossed a four-hitter against the Lady Red Devils.

Christen Stephens led the offense with a pair of doubles. Hollye Keenum had two hits, including a double, and Whitney Stephens stroked a double.

Rebecca Adams had one of four singles for Elkmont and scored the Lady Devils’ only run. Adams took the loss on the mound, giving up seven hits and one walk while striking out one.

Haley Keenum walked two and struck out two for Tanner.

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