KNOXVILLE — Farragut High School softball coach David Moore knows that his team’s District 4-AAA victory over rival Bearden on Thursday, April 14, wasn’t going to win any style points. But that didn’t mean that it wasn’t an important win.
“This was a big win for us because it was a district win and it was a win against a rival,” Moore said after the Admirals routed the Bulldogs 10-4 at BHS’s Kim Hazelwood Field. “It was on the road and it’s also big because we had two tough district losses coming in here.”
Farragut (12-9 overall, 6-3 in District 4-AAA) made sure that its district losing streak wouldn’t continue early in the contest. The Admirals scored twice in the first inning and could’ve had more but Bearden freshman pitcher Rachel Colwell escaped further damage when she got both Tori West and Kayla Hindle to fly out with the bases loaded.
FHS got its runs in the frame with one out. Andrea Sarhatt singled and then reached third on a two-base error. She came home on an RBI double by Lexee Lamoree. The Admirals plated another run on an RBI single by Kelsie Tuggle.
Lamoree, Farragut’s catcher also had a two-run homer in the second to give Farragut a 4-0 lead.
The Admirals added five runs in the third. Farragut sent 10 batters to the plate and had five hits in the frame. The Admirals also took advantage of two errors by the Bulldogs (1-13, 0-6).
West had a two-run double in the inning and stole home. Niki Slone, FHS’s leadoff hitter, drove in a run with a double while Sarhatt added a scoring single to make the score 9-0. Farragut appeared poised to make short work of Bearden, which had been run-ruled in most of its district games this season.
But Bulldogs center fielder Shakara Goodloe, who plays softball in addition to running track for Bearden, robbed several Farragut hitters.
“We were really getting under stuff but their center fielder played a really good game,” said FHS first baseman Mary Claire Coyne, who singled in the game.
“I’ve played in Bearden-Farragut games for four years and they’re always tough. They’re tough no matter what the records are and we did enough to win.
“We played pretty solid and we all put the ball in play,” said Lamoree, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, a run and two runs batted in. “Their center fielder played great.
“On the home run, I saw the ball well.”
The Bulldogs plated three runs in the bottom of the third thanks to RBI singles by Kierra Smith and Alexis Prince. Bearden’s other run came home on a Farragut error.
The two rivals each scored in the fourth. In the top of the frame, West led off with a single and stole second before scoring on a defensive miscue by the Bulldogs. She scored when Hindle lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.
Bearden pulled to within 10-4 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Savannah Goodson. Goodson and Smith are the only returners from the 2015 squad that made the Class AAA State Tournament.
Many members of that team left the program after Leonard Sams was dismissed as the team’s coach.
“Savannah and I are the only two players back from last year,” Smith said. “We came back and we know that we really don’t have the support from [the students at] the school and that really motivates us to come out here and play.
“We’ve had a hard time and we’ve been getting run-ruled but we didn’t get run-ruled here today and that’s really good after everything we’ve been through all year.”
Bearden coach Angelica McClerkin commended her squad for its effort.
“These kids are going to face adversity this year and we all know that,” she said. “But they don’t ever quit.
“For us, it’s all about small victories right now.”