Moore pitch perfect

Admirals strong offense along with a stout defense has Mountainers calling for mercy

BLOUNT COUNTY — The way that Callie Moore was pitching, Farragut was only going to need one key hit to outscore Heritage last Thursday evening in Blount County.

The junior hurler took care of that herself, blasting a two-out bases-loaded double into left-center field to score the first two Lady Admiral runs in the top of the second inning.

“Everybody was coming (back to the dugout) saying, ‘it’s all outside, it’s all outside.’ Well, I love outside pitches, so there it went,” Moore said of her timely two-out hit.

From that point, Moore’s pitching coupled with stout defense was more than enough for victory, but the Farragut bats came alive with five of their 12 hits in their last at-bats, leading to a six-inning mercy-rule victory and final 10-0 game score.

“She moved the ball around a little bit and kept us off balance,” Heritage head coach Jeff Sherman said.

“I’ve got to give her credit, she pitched a great game.”

Moore worked a no-hitter through four innings, allowing only two baserunners — one in the second on a passed-ball strikeout and one on her own fielding error on a comebacker in the fourth.

Holding a 6-0 lead thanks to her own double and a walked-in run in the second and three more plated in fifth on hits by Lexee Lamoree, Mary Claire Coyne and Madi Etter, Farragut was challenged in the bottom of the fifth when a fielding error and the only two Heritage hits allowed loaded the bases with no outs. But Moore then induced a pop-up to second, a comebacker forcing out number two at home and a nicely-fielded grounder down the third base line snagged by Kelsey Tuggle, to preserve her shutout.

Moore led off the sixth clubbing a long fly down the left field line which was mishandled. After two outs, Lamoree started a string of five consecutive safeties, with Coyne and Etter both joining Moore in the multiple-hit column and then scoring on singles from Delaney Weller and Andrea Sarhatt to produce the 10-run mercy rule gap.

Returning to her earlier form, Moore then put the side out in order in the sixth, capping her efforts with her sixth strikeout of the game, lining up with no walks and only the two Heritage hits.

“My defense was really behind me,” Moore told farragutpress. “Mostly I was throwing curveballs and dropballs. My change-up, tonight some of them were off but most of them were right on spot.”

Coyne led the Farragut offense with two doubles and a single in four at-bats and joined several teammates with nice defensive plays at the few points Moore was challenged. The senior first baseman said, “We’ve always been really strong defensively, and we work really hard to support our pitchers. We know that if they are putting the ball in play where we can catch it, we need to be making the outs. We were just making our defensive plays tonight to back up Callie.”

Farragut head coach David Moore said, “We had the one big inning early then we put it in cruise for a bit, but we woke the bats up again and took care of business there at the end.”

The win moved Farragut to 5-5 (3-1 District 4-AAA) while Heritage dropped to 2-4 (2-2).