By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 7-5 Mountain Seven Conference softball victory over North Henderson on April 19 at the Webster field.
Bailey Cloer, Mica Tiger-Harlan and Chloe Ledford all had two hits for the Lady Mustangs.
“They finally worked together,” Coach Morgan Dillard said of her team’s first win since the season opener. “We’ve got to set realistic goals for our team, and they accomplished that.”
Elle Wahnetah pitched a complete game and struck out six. At one point late in the game she retired seven straight batters.
“She’s been working really hard trying to hit all of her spots and holding herself accountable when she doesn’t,” Dillard said.
North scored just one run in the first even through SM missed three fly balls or pop-ups.
“I think two weeks ago our team would have dropped their heads and not come back from that,” Dillard said. “When we got up to bat, we scored and immediately got back in the game. The confidence in each other has really come a long way to help us.”
The Lady Mustangs tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the first as Kayleigh Marr walked, stole second and scored on Cloer’s single.
The Lady Knights took a 3-1 lead in the third on Lexie Gunter’s solo homer and Emily Cohee’s RBI single.
Tiger-Harlan doubled in the bottom of the third and scored on an error cutting the gap to 3-2.
Gunter’s RBI single gave North a 4-2 edge in the fourth.
SM took a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Tiger-Harlan’s two-run double tied it, and Cloer followed with a two-run homer, Ledford added an RBI single.
Cohee had a sacrifice fly for the Lady Knights in the seventh.
“We’re still learning that the biggest challenge is to learn to have a short memory with softball,” Dillard said.
“Bailey came through,” the coach said. “That home run was much needed for her confidence. She’s a big leader on our team.”
She noted that Tiger-Harlan had two extra base hits.
Jada Charlton went three of four for North. Gunter, Amy Rhymer and Amber Matlak all had two hits.