The 2019 JCMS Lady Longhorns Little Watauga Conference Championship team. Back Row, L-R: Assistant Coach Mark Humphrey, Hannah Fritts,
Aden Thomas, Aubrie Baird, Amy Gunter, Kendyl Kleine, Autumn Lewis, Audrey Savery, Head Coach Haley Miller. Front Row, L-R: Eden Potter, Manager Isabella, Zennia Bouchelle, Autumn Shepherd, Mackenzie Poe, Mattie Jones. Photo by Tia Thomas
JCMS Lady Longhorns end 2018-2019 season as conference and district champs.
The Lady Longhorns won their fourth district title in a row
Assistant Softball Coach Johnson County Middle School
The JCMS Lady Longhorns were prepared to defend their District title last week with the Unaka Lady Rangers wanting revenge for their late-season loss to the Horns.
In the end, of an intense and close game, however, the Lady Longhorns defeated Unaka 10-8 to win their fourth district title in a row and the chance to host next year’s tournament.
The Lady Rangers came out hitting, but Hannah Fritts cut down the runners at second to get out of the inning. Mattie Jones got the Longhorns off to a great start with a leadoff double. She then scored on Hannah Fritts’ double giving the Horns an early 1-0 lead.
The Rangers got a one-out triple from Alyssa but were unable to get her home as the defense stiffened. Kendyl Klein doubled with one out, but the Lady Ranger’ Reagan threw Kline out at the plate after Mattie Jones’ single.
The Lady Rangers scored five runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-1 lead. The Lady Longhorns came roaring back with three runs on doubles by Autumn Lewis, Aubrey Baird, and Makenzie Poe cutting the Rangers lead to 5-4.
The Longhorns held Unaka scoreless in the top of the fourth inning then turned up the heat scoring four more runs on hits by Amy Gunter, Aubrey Baird, and a bases-clearing triple by Zennia Bouchelle making the score 8-5.
The Rangers roared right back scoring three runs tying the score back up at 8-8.
Autumn Lewis snags a throw to second to force the last out against Unaka to secure the Lady Longhorn’s fourth consecutive Little Watauga Conference Championship. Lewis was later awarded All Conference honors.
Hannah Fritts and Autumn Lewis got on base with singles but were left stranded on the bases leaving the score tied.
The Rangers were three up and three down in the half of the sixth inning. Aubrey Baird led off the bottom of the sixth inning with her third hit of the night. Maddie Jones walked with two outs setting the stage for Autumn Shepherd to blast a two-run double to put the Longhorns up 10-8.
JCMS pitcher Hannah Fritts makes a big play at home to prevent another Unaka run in the battle for the title between the two conference powerhouses. The Lady Longhorns edged Unaka out with a final score of 10-8 to earn their fourth consecutive Little Watauga Conference Championship at their home field in Mountain City on May 14.
The Lady Rangers would not give up as they banged out three hits, but the Longhorns defense would not allow them to score to shut the door on their upset bid and take a hard-fought 10-8 victory.
All-Conference honors went to Hannah Fritts, Autumn Lewis, and Mattie Jones. Honorable Mention All-Conference honors went to Autumn Shepherd.
The Lady Longhorns close out the season as Conference and District Champions and a 16-8 overall record and 11-1 in conference play.
Congratulations to Coach Hailey Miller on her first season as a head coach and to all the girls on the team that made this possible.