HARDIN VALLEY — An injury riddled and adversity filled 2016 season came to an end for the Farragut High School softball team recently.
The Admirals saw its season come to a close with a 6-3 loss to top-seeded Maryville in the District 4-AAA Tournament on Wednesday, May 11, at Hardin Valley Academy.
Farragut (23-14) battled adversity throughout the 2016 campaign as many of its top players missed significant playing time due to injury but coach David Moore said that he was pleased with the way that his veteran squad handled misfortune throughout the year.
“I was really proud of our girls for their effort,” Moore said. “It would’ve been nice to have them all together to see what we could’ve done. But it is what it is.
“If we didn’t learn anything else this year, we certainly learned how to handle adversity.”
The third-seeded Admirals opened the postseason with a pair of wins over Lenoir City and second-seeded William Blount and appeared poised to make a run to the Region 2-AAA Tournament.
Farragut emerged from the winner’s bracket before losing to top-seeded Maryville twice. The Admirals had a chance to advance to the district championship game but dropped a 3-0 decision to the Red Rebels on Tuesday, May 10, as Maryville’s ace pitcher Caylan Arnold tossed a no-hitter and posted 18 strikeouts.
The Admirals’ loss set up a second game against the Red Rebels. Arnold, again, fanned 18 Farragut hitters.
But this time, the Admirals managed three hits off The University of Tennessee signee. Farragut, which was without center fielder Andrea Sarhatt (who suffered a hand injury in the first tournament game against Maryville) fell behind 5-1 after three innings before coming back to make things interesting.
The Admirals pulled to within 5-3 in the top of the fifth before the Red Rebels tallied another run in the bottom of the frame.
“We battled our way back and we gave ourselves a chance to win. That’s all you can ask,” Moore said. “Our kids battled hard all year.
“We came back and scored a couple of runs and we kept battling. This year we had some younger players who had to come in and step up because we had so many injuries. Hopefully, they’ll be ready for next year. We’re really going to miss our seniors.”
Sophomore third baseman Kelsie Tuggle had two key hits for the Admirals. She had a solo home run and contributed an RBI single. She was named to the all-tournament team, along with senior first baseman Mary Claire Coyne.
Senior Morgan Stapleton drove in Farragut’s other run with a hit.
Despite the injuries, Farragut won some big games and had some bright spots in 2016. Senior shortstop Niki Slone, Coyne and junior catcher Lexee Lamoree were named to the all-District 4-AAA team by the league’s coaches.
Tuggle and Sarhatt received all-district honorable mentions.