HARDIN VALLEY — Farragut High School moved into sole possession of first place in the District 4-AAA softball standings with an impressive 10-2 road victory over Hardin Valley Academy — the second 10-2 win against the Lady Hawks in six days — Thursday, April 11.
The Lady Ads received production from up and down the lineup. But on this night it was a pair of freshmen who shined brightest.
Center fielder Ace Strickland went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a stolen base and two RBI.
Avery Flatford threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win. She surrendered a bunt single to HVA’s Savanna Beard in the bottom of the fifth inning. She beaned Emalee McCord (hit-by-pitch), the first hitter she faced, and also walked Madi Lane in the fifth — the only full inning where she faced any adversity.
Flatford finished with 12 strikeouts, fanning the side three times.
“They only made contact on her twice,” Farragut head coach Nick Green said of Flatford’s outing. “That was the bunt single, and on the last out of the game. We got her ready early.”
Offensively, “We didn’t hit the ball hard early, but we were really able to put some pressure on them early,” Green said.
That early pressure resulted in a three-run first inning for the Lady Admirals in a frame where HVA committed two errors.
“Our coaches want us to be aggressive and put pressure on,” Strickland said. “That’s all up to our team.”
Strickland, Farragut’s leadoff hitter, started the rally with an infield single. Bailey Myers then reached on an error and Cameron Young singled and took second on Hardin Valley’s second defensive miscue of the frame. Strickland scored on the play.
The Lady Ads went up 2-0 when Lauren Brakovec grounded out to plate Myers. Young came home when junior Katie Tuggle singled.
FHS extended its lead to 4-0 in the third. Meyers led off the frame with a triple and scored when Brakovec grounded out.
Lady Ads’ starter Lakyn Moore, a senior, cruised through the first two innings, surrendering just a single to McCord. But she then induced a double-play ball to all but extinguish a modest threat.
Hardin Valley (12-5 overall, 8-2 in District 4-AAA) scored both of its runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single by Mariah Hall. Her hit scored Brooke Taylor, who doubled, and Grace Speanburgh, who walked.
“I thought Lakyn was really good, but I was really ready when I came in,” Flatford said.
Farragut took a 6-2 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Strickland, who later came home when Young reached on an error.
The Lady Ads added four more runs in the fifth. Strickland, Myers and Young had RBI singles, and Sarah Livingston knocked in a run with a groundout.
“We really need to improve in every aspect of the game. I don’t want to say that we weren’t ready to play,” Hall said about HVA. “But I really think we got down on ourselves.”