The Rhea County High School Lady Eagles’ softball team opened its season only a few miles down the road at Sale Creek High School on Monday, where the Lady Eagles rallied in the last inning to spoil the Lady Panthers’ home opener, 9-6.
The Rhea crew got on the board in the first inning and carried a 1-0 lead until Sale Creek tied the game up in the bottom of the second.
The Lady Panthers shut down the Lady Eagles in the top half of the third inning, while they cranked out three more runs in the bottom half of the third and took a 4-1 lead.
The fourth inning remained scoreless for both teams, but the bats got moving in the top of the fifth for the visiting Lady Eagles, as they put together a few of their 14 hits in the game to tie the game 4-4 headed to the bottom of the fifth.
Sale Creek retaliated with two more runs, as the Lady Panthers reclaimed the lead at 6-4 headed to the sixth inning. The sixth inning was scoreless for both squads.
The Lady Eagles saved the majority of their hits and runs until the final inning, as they rattled off more hits, tallying five more runs in the process. Rhea held Sale Creek scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning, claiming the 9-6 non-district win.
The Rhea pitching combination of McKinley Mathis and Michaela Taylor only allowed seven hits on the night. Mathis had three strikeouts and Taylor had one. Mathis allowed four hits to Taylor’s three.
At the plate for the Lady Eagles, Macy Welch went 4-for-4, with two runs scored and an RBI, while Hallie DeArman went 3-for-4, with three RBIs. Keeley Hickman and had two hits and two RBIs and Emma Gentry had a hit and two RBIs. Other Lady Eagles getting hits included Courtney Wilson (2), Ellie Hickman (1) and Taylor (1). Scoring runs included Emily McClure (2), Ellie Hickman (1), Halleigh Phelps (1), Keeley Hickman (1), Madalynn Ray (1) and Makenie Campbell (1).