There was a white board in the Tipton-Rosemark Academy softball dugout during yesterday’s sub-state best-of-three series with five team goals listed on it.
Three of them – qualify for sub-state, win region and host sub-state – had check marks next to them. The others – win sub-state and state champs – had empty boxes next to them.
Those final two boxes remained empty after Friendship Christian beat TRA 4-1 yesterday afternoon to finish off a two-game sweep, advance to the state tournament and end Rosemark’s season at 33-11-1. Friendship beat TRA 4-0 in the first game that started Wednesday and had to be finished Thursday because of weather.
The story of both games was Friendship’s pitching, which held TRA to three hits in each game.
“We just didn’t execute at the plate,” TRA head coach Johnie Sanfratello. “Those were probably two of the best pitchers we’ve seen all year. Unfortunately we had to see them when we had to see them. We just didn’t hit the ball … Our pitching was good enough to get the win. Like I told the girls, it really doesn’t matter who’s pitching if you don’t score any runs.”
The big blow from Friendship (35-8) came off the bat of Bayley West, who hit a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the third to put her team ahead 4-0. Kyleigh Pitzer took care of the rest, striking out seven and allowing just three hits and a walk over seven innings.
Rosemark rallied in the top of the fifth when Lexie Williams doubled in a run to put runners on second and third, but Pitzer worked out of the jam.
Singles by Kayla Clement and Myah Wright accounted for TRA’s other two hits.
Emily West started in the circle and took the loss. She allowed four runs on four hits in 2.2 innings. Charli Rice relieved her in third inning, striking out four, walking two and allowing three hits.
Ryleigh Bowers singled twice in game one and Myah Wright had a single. Rice struck out six, walked four and allowed nine hits over seven innings.
There were a lot of tears shed after the game as it sank in that TRA would not be making a second straight trip to Murfreesboro.
“I have no doubt there aren’t many teams that work as hard as we do in the offseason,” Sanfratello said. “I simply told them the better team wins most of the time. Today we just weren’t the better team. I told them hard work wasn’t the reason we lost. That’s the reason we’re here. Don’t ever let it get in your head that all that work was for nothing. That’s why we were able to do what we did.”
The Rosemark baseball team (33-10) was playing a best-of-three sub-state series at the same time at Goodpasture Christian in Madison and suffered a similar fate, falling 3-1 and 9-1 to also miss out on a second straight trip to state.
TRA out hit Goodpasture seven to four in game one but could not pull out the win.
Logan Notto drove in TRA’s lone run in the second inning to cut the lead to 2-1 and Goodpasture scored its third run in the sixth. Patrick Green had a pair of singles, Notto had two hits and Jaxon Pennington, Tucker James and Jonah Van Kampen each had a hit.
Green pitched all seven innings, striking out five, walking two and allowing four hits.
Goodpasture scored three runs in the fifth and three more in the seventh to pull away from TRA in game two.
TRA managed just three hits. Tyler Byrd doubled, Notto and Will Turner each singled and Jacob Dodson drove in a run.
Zach Seward struck out two and allowed four hits and five earned runs over five innings. Coalter Bridgers struck out two and allowed three runs in two innings of relief.