It was a final inning that went from scary to celebratory for Farragut High School’s softball team on Senior Night Thursday, April 13, at FHS’s Bellamy Field.
Leading William Blount High School 6–1 after six, the Lady Admirals surrendered five runs in the seventh, and the game was tied. The Lady Governors’ at-bat ended only when Abby Barron struck out on a high pitch with runners on second and third.
Not to worry.
In the bottom of the seventh, FHS junior first baseman Hailey Nichols won the game 7-6 when she slapped the first pitch she faced into right field, scoring Rilee Kate Ragan from third. Ragan had opened the inning with a single and moved to third after an intentional walk and a groundout.
“All I was thinking was ‘This is for my seniors,’” Nichols said. “The first pitch came and I knew she was throwing strikes first pitch. I went with it and it landed this time. It felt amazing.”
“Looks like we just kinda put it on cruise control there in the later innings,” FHS head coach Nick Green said. “On the up side, being able to fight through it and come out with a win … that’s something you need for the postseason.”
“I’m definitely proud of my team for their fight,” Lady Govs head coach Amanda Leatherwood said. “I liked their energy, their fight … they knew they could do it. I think tonight they got a taste of what they can do.”
The game seemingly was in hand for the Lady Ads (18-3, 7-1 in district) after six. They took a 2-0 lead in the second when designated player Avery Mattina doubled to right center, scoring third baseman Laney Shrader, who had singled, and Nichols, who had walked.
Farragut scored two more in the fourth to make it 4-0. The Lady Govs cut it to 4-1 in the fifth when WBHS’s Blaine Bell scored on a misplaced fly ball.
In the bottom of the inning, Farragut catcher Elsa Morrison crushed a two-run homer to left fiedl to make it 6-1. Ragan, who had singled, also scored on the play.
In the seventh, William Blount used six hits and a hit batsmen to stage the rally.
Nichols and Green were both asked if the team would focus more on pulling out the win or almost blowing a big lead.
“I think we’ll hold on to the victory,” Nichols said.
“Great question,” Green said. “We’ll have some discussions about some of our situations.”
After the game, FHS seniors Mattina, Ava Guzowski and Sophia Leto were honored.