The Lady Jackets have struggled to get any time in the grass with the weather troubles during the preseason, but they didn’t let that keep them from notching a win on opening day. The fields in Huntland were dry enough to play and Grundy won 5-4 with a late rally.
“We’re tickled to get a win with the lack of field time we’ve had. Our two seniors deserve it. We saw a lot of things to improve on and have already begun to address them. Our attitude was consistent throughout the game, which gave us the chance to win it in the seventh. I’m proud of the girls’ resilience and we are eager to correct our mistakes to improve. As a coach, I couldn’t ask for a better group of young women to work with,” said Coach Jason Evans.
Grundy cut one of the lead in the sixth and then posted three in the top of the seventh to take the win.
Makayla Nunley got the win on the mound going the distance. She faced 31 batters, struck out seven, walked three, hit two, gave up one hit and no earned runs.
She led at the plate going to 2 for 4 with 5 RBIs. Chelby Carrick was also 2 for 4 with a run scored. Madison Rogers went 1 for 3 with a walk. Harley Davis and Sierra Kilgore were 1 for 4 with Kilgore scoring a run. Madison Burrows hit 1 for 5. Chloe Scissom scored two runs. MiKayla Misiolek scored one and Taylen Scissom had 2 stolen bases.
In a Sunday interview before the season started, Coach Jason Evans was optimistic about this season’s squad. With 10 players back with a lot of experience the veteran squad could do some damage this year.
“We have 10 veteran players that all saw varsity experience last year and most saw a lot of varsity experience. We have two seniors that we’re expecting a whole lot out of and that’s Shelby Carrick in the outfield and Harley Davis in the infield,” said the coach.
He also was concerned about the weather prohibiting his team from getting into an early rhythm.
“The weather hasn’t been merciful for any of us. We were supposed to have a play day at Shelbyville Saturday where we would have gotten some good experience and gotten to work on some things but that didn’t work. I hate that because we usually get to see some real good competition and it’s a lot of reps for the girls early on.
“We’re going to do the best we can with what we’ve been dealt. Our indoor hitting facility has helped tremendously. If the field is nasty, they can come in and hit, bunt, and throw a little bit. It’s been a big help,” said Evans.
“The team has 2 freshmen, one with a lot of experience. The other is kind of new but is very coachable. We have a junior that didn’t play last year but played as a freshman and if we can get her healthy we look for some quality reps down the line.”
Grundy will have to battle familiar foes for district supremacy.
“Traditionally it’s going to Sequatchie County because they’ve been there. Our girls know them so well that they want to beat them so bad. There’s a lot of unknowns this year. Signal Mountain has a new coach. Bledsoe County has a new coach who helped at the middle school and high school. Not sure what they have coming back talent wise, but they were very old two years ago and fairly inexperienced last year, but those that returned were good players.
“There’s a lot in the air. Our district is fairly young and it will just have to play out. I hope we can come out and set the pace for the season early. It’s a tournament sport and you want to be at your prime May 1. Early on, we’re going to be getting people in positions. There’s a lot of people that, even though they’re veteran players, they’re stepping into new roles. A lot will depend on how fast they mature in the position,” added the coach.
Obviously, they set that tone with a comeback win to open the season.
The Lady Jackets were set to host Cascade on Tuesday barring rain. Today they travel to Franklin County for a 5 p.m. start. Friday and Saturday they play in the 9th annual Tiger Classic in Decatur. Monday they play their first district game at Signal Mountain at 5 p.m.. Tuesday they host Huntland at 5:30 p.m.
Get out and support the Lady Jackets this week!