Farragut trio seek/sought ‘Collins-type’ state finish

  • FHS softball defeated Tennessee High 2-0 behind Avery Flatford’s no-hitter. - Softball photo by Alan Sloan, Soccer photo by Ashley Wathen/crfo.com, Baseball photo submitted

  • Farragut teammates mob reliever Jaxson Pease, middle, after beating Seymour 9-2 in substate. - Softball photo by Alan Sloan, Soccer photo by Ashley Wathen/crfo.com, Baseball photo submitted

  • FHS goalkeeper Righter Cressman stops this West shot with help from Lucas Arnold (blue). - Softball photo by Alan Sloan, Soccer photo by Ashley Wathen/crfo.com, Baseball photo submitted

Lady Ads 2 TN High 0

Junior Avery Flatford, Farragut softball pitching staff ace, fired a complete-game no-hitter with 16 strikeouts (just one walk) before a scoreless tie was broken in the bottom of the sixth inning of this substate game at FHS’s Bellamy Field Saturday, May 22.

Cameron Young’s second extra-base hit of the game, an RBI triple, scored Avery “Ace” Strickland, who led off with a single — her second hit of the day. Lauren Brakovec’s sacrifice fly scored Young.

About Flatford, “It’s pretty special to have a no-hitter because you know you’re not going to play any kind of a slouch team in a sectional match-up,” FHS head coach Nick Green said. “She’s been great all post-season.”

“I’m super-proud of my team to pull through. ... I think all my pitches worked this game: curve inside, curve outside, rise inside, rise outside,” Flatford said. “I had an awesome change-up there at the end.

“... Cameron really set the tempo in the sixth inning,” the lefty ace added.

“It was an outside pitch — my type of pitch,” Young said about her game-winning triple. “I think it was a fastball, and it was at the right level I like to hit, about waist-high.

About Flatford, “She did amazing, that’s probably one of the best games I’ve seen her pitch,” the District 4-AAA MVP said about the 4-AAA Pitcher of the Year. “She really delivered exactly what we needed.”

Autumn Caywood also singled for the Lady Ads.

FHS baseball 9 Seymour 2

Farragut High School’s baseball team will get the chance to defend its 2019 Class AAA state championship.

Avenging a 2018 substate loss to the same school, FHS (36-5) punched its ticket to Murfreesboro with a 9-2 home win over Seymour (32-4) before a packed and spirited house.

“We didn’t have a season last year and that was in the back of my mind,” said senior starting pitcher Hunter Merrick (six innings, two earned runs, two hits, eight strikeouts). “...We have a great group of seniors and a great team and we came out and played our best game of the year.”

Parker Evans blasted a three-run homer in a five-run fifth-inning to chase SHS starting pitcher Derek McCarley, a Mr. Baseball Finalist.

Freshman Lukas Buckner was 3-of-4 hitting with two RBI for the Admirals.

Freshman Eli Evans added an RBI double and run-scoring single. Brennon Seigler stroked an RBI double. Garrett Brewer drew an RBI walk.

Soccer Ads 3 West 1

A free kick goal from Will Gallaher from about 35 yards out, which came in the latter stages of the first half, was padded by a pair of Timi Omitaomu second-half goals where the senior forward weaved around defenders, using assists from Jake Lowe and Brooks Burnette.

It all added up to a 3-1 Farragut boys soccer substate victory against Knoxville West in Farragut Soccer Stadium Saturday evening, May 22, as the Ads improved to 15-2-3.

But Reuben Margulies, FHS senior standout midfieler, said one key to Farragut’s late-season success has been “coach (Bradley Culbreth) giving us a little meditation and yoga and inspiration — all of our coaches helping to bring us here.”

Such meditation and yoga “is the glue that keeps us going,” he added. “... Coach described us as ‘hot-headed,’ like an octopus (going) ten different directions.” But meditation and yoga “is the driving force that keeps us together.”

Another key is “we’ve got a lot of different players,” standout center-back Lucas Arnold said. “We play very different play style than most teams.”

Culbreth said his team “has made me a better coach. ... They trusted me on my first year. I thank them for the opportunity.”

Going to state, “We know our identity. ... It was a growth process for me and for them,” the coach added.