Balanced Lady Hawks pull away at Alcoa 8-1

ALCOA — A quick start, dominant pitching, a big contribution deep in the line-up, a special outfield catch and late power added up to victory for Hardin Valley Academy softball at Alcoa.

“I’m just happy with the way they came out and put up three runs in the first inning,” HVA head coach Whitney Hickam-Cruze said about the 8-1 win Friday evening, April 23, improving her team’s record to 22-7 overall while standing at 10-2 in District 4-AAA starting the week.

As for pitching a complete game, Denver Hogrefe “was very effective tonight, her stuff was working well,” the HVA head coach said about the senior, who allowed one earned run, three-hits and two walks with six strikeouts. “She hit her spots.”

Hogrefe helped her cause with a first-inning RBI single and a seventh-inning solo home run. Kylie Tillman’s two-RBI single in the first inning made it 3-0.

Brook Taylor connected for a second-inning RBI single, scoring Annie McCormick, who laced a triple. McCormick ended with two hits and scored twice as the No. 9 batter. “Annie’s very disciplined in that nine-hole,” Hickam-Cruze said.

Madi Lane blasted a two-run homer in the seventh-inning,

Olivia Neely had a sixth-inning double for the Lady Hawks.

A running catch by center fielder Gracie Gray in the sixth inning saw the HVA sophomore slam into the center field wall. “That catch really just kind of snagged the momentum back right there,” Hickam-Cruze said.

“It was a great catch.”