There was a lot going on at last week’s Spring Fling state championships in Murfreesboro, with more than 100 student-athletes from Tipton County-area high schools competing in four different sports. Here are 10 takeaways:
- I’ve covered a lot of high school baseball games over the past 20-plus years, including dozens of state tournament contests, where emotions are always running high and parents can get a little crazy. What I saw at a Covington-Gibbs game last Wednesday I think takes the cake. A Gibbs fan had a loudspeaker and was harassing the Covington bench players with comments like, “How it’s going over there, benchwarmers?” Pretty pathetic behavior by an adult. One CHS player had a nice comeback: “I’m injured, lady, I can’t do nothing!”
- The Covington softball team played one of the wildest games of the week-long event against Greenbrier last Wednesday. One day after giving up 13 runs in a loss, the Lady Chargers scored 13 of their own by compiling 20 hits, six shy of the state record. Covington scored three runs in the top of the seventh to go up 13-8, only to give up five in the bottom of the frame. Greenbrier eventually won, 14-13, in eight.
- Seeking its third state title, the Tipton-Rosemark softball team vanquished Silverdale, the team that beat them in the state title game in 2018. That meant TRA had to beat Columbia Academy twice to win it all. The Lady Rebels put runners on second and third in the top of the seventh with two outs, but came up short in a 2-1 loss.
- Playing in its first state tournament, Brighton baseball acquitted itself well. After a 6-3 loss to Science Hill in the Tuesday opener, the Cardinals bounced back with a 6-3 win over Beech. Trailing 3-1 through five, Brighton scored five runs over the final two innings to win. Kaleb Baskin had one of the best pitching performances of the season for Brighton with a complete-game win. Siegel beat Brighton 11-3 later in the day to end the Cardinals’ season.
- Two Tipton County tennis players made it to state. Brighton junior Maddie Peters lost to Lincoln County senior Lucy Higgins, who finished runnerup. Covington senior James Roane played Oak Ridge junior Andrew Lee to a close match, but lost, 6-2, 6-3.
- In track and field action for Munford, Morgan Mitchell took 15th in the high jump and Noelle Warner was 14th in the discus. The 4×800 team of Linda Giffing, Maiya Reed, Ciara Spence and Hannah Callahan finished 14th and Morgan Mitchell took 12th in the 400 meters and 15th in the high jump. Giffing, Mitchell, Reed and Breanna Connor finished 15th in the 4×400. DeMaryo Gatlin represented Brighton by taking 14th in the high jump.
- With a very inexperienced roster, not a lot of people were betting on the Covington baseball team making it two state two years after the Chargers’ epic 2019 title run. They made it, however, and looked like they clearly belonged. The Chargers nearly made it to the bracket final, but Greenbrier scored four runs in the top of the seventh on Wednesday for 11-9 win.
- Like Covington, the Tipton-Rosemark baseball team was not a popular pick to get to Murfreesboro, but they won a region title to get there. The team that TRA beat for the region title, Northpoint Christian, ended TRA’s season in game two. Rosemark trailed just 3-1 before Northpoint scored eight times in the fifth to prevail 11-1.
- There were a ton of great individual performances. Covington softball’s Kayla Pitts and Hannah Kirby each had four hits in the Lady Chargers’ second game. In Brighton’s final two games, pitchers could not get Logan Rushing out. The Memphis signee went 4 for 5 with four doubles and three RBIs. TRA senior All Naumann, a Dyersburg State signee, was lights out at the plate, going 7 for 11 with four RBIs in four games.
- The luck of the draw was not in the favor of Tipton County’s teams. Two teams that beat Covington baseball and Covington softball, Gibbs and Forrest, both went on to win state titles. Science Hill, which Brighton lost to in round one, also eventually won the title.