MURFREESBORO,Tenn. - Munford stayed right with Dickson County for six innings Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the Class AAA state softball tournament in Murfreesboro.
The scored was tied 1-1 through through six innings, but Dickson County, which finished second in last year's tournament, finally broke the game open in the top of the seventh.
Dickson County's Payton Grove singled with the bases loaded in the frame to give her team a lead it would not lose in a 5-1 win.
Sophomore Sam Scott, Munford's starting pitcher, scattered six hits over the first six innings and limited Dickson County (42-7) to just one run,
but Munford's offense struggled the whole game against sophomore Brooklin Lee.
Lee, utilizing a devastating change-up, allowed just two hits and struck out eight to earn the win.
“I wish we could have had a little more more offense, but Sam pitched a great game," said Munford head coach Glenn Goulder. "They
didn't win 41 games for nothing, but you've got to have more than two hits. We've got to put the bat on the ball a little better if we're
going to do better in this tournament.”
Munford (28-12), appearing in its fourth straight state tournament, didn't get a runner on base until the fourth inning, when the Lady Cougars
loaded the bases with one out.
Tori Ray walked, Jodie Duncan bunted for a single and Peyton Joyner was hit by a pitch.
Duncan scored on a Dickson County throwing error to give Munford a 1-0 lead. But Dickson County tied the game in the bottom of the frame on a passed ball.
“I think we started off well,said Duncan, one of Munford's five seniors. "But nerves can kind of get to you because you never really know about the team you're playing. We need to fix a couple of mental things. We need to focus on our offense. Sam pitched a good game, so we need to make it easier for our defense.”
Munford committed five errors. Dickson County did not commit any.
Scott worked out of several jams.
In the top of the first, a walk and an error put runners on second and third for Dickson County with no outs, but Scott retired the next
three batters to escape with no damage.
Dickson County put runners on base in the second, third and fourth innings as well, but did not score.
Munford's second hit of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Courtney Bonaiuto singled with two outs.
Despite the loss, Goulder felt good about his team's chances going forward.
“I told them tomorrow's another day," Goulder said. "We're going to go out and have a team meal and we're going to forget this
one and think about tomorrow. Lots of things can happen between now and then. We're a good team. We're not here for nothing. I told them
to have a little confidence in themselves. Sometimes we're not as confident as we need to be.”