By: Jim Steele
McKenzie scored a run in the top of the 10th inning of its Region 7A semifinal game at South Fulton Monday night and that's all it needed.
The Lady Rebels captured a 1-0 victory to advance to the Region 7A championship game at Union City Wednesday night and, in the process, earned a bid in substate Friday at a location to be determined.
McKenzie ended the ninth when Emily Lunn grounded out. After a fruitless South Fulton ninth, Lunn was placed on second, a result of extra-inning rules in softball. She was replaced for a pinch runner Alyssa Chesser. Amberleigh Cooper dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Chesser to third. She scored on an error at first base and the Lady Rebels led 1-0.
Senior Anna Comer singled, Alayna Parrish reached first on a fielder's choice and Sarah Jackson popped out to end the Lady Rebel half. In the South Fulton 10th, Audrie Washburn wrapped a pair of groundouts around a strikeout and the Lady Rebels had extended their season by two more games.
Washburn worked all 10 innings, scattering four hits and striking out eight. She did not walk anybody. She also went 2-4 with a double. Shelby Tucker, Comer and Parrish each had singles.
This is the first substate bid for the Lady Rebels since 2014, when McKenzie advanced all the way to the state tournament. That year, the Lady Rebs defeated host Adamsville in substate 4-2 and advanced to Murfreesboro. In the opening round, McKenzie suffered a tough 2-1 loss to Chattanooga Arts & Sciences, then lost to eventual state finalist Knoxville-Grace 10-0 in the elimination round.
The Lady Rebels will travel to Union City Wednesday, time to be determined, for the Region 7A championship. If McKenzie wins, it will host the loser of the 8A championship game between Jackson Christian School and Scotts Hill in substate. If Union City wins, McKenzie will travel to either JCS or Scotts Hill for a substate battle.
The Lady Rebels are 21-10 overall.
In District 13A action:
Huntingdon 15, McKenzie 0
Huntingdon scored all 15 runs in the first two innings as the Fillies captured the District 13A championship. Emily Lunn and Alayna Parrish were the only two to managed hits against HHS.
Alli Jones had a double and a grand slam home run for six RBI to lead the Huntingdon hit parade. Leah Hayes was 2-3 with a double and three RBI. Kaci Fuller had two hits and two RBI. Adyn Swenson was the winning pitcher for the Fillies.
McKenzie 5, Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 3
McKenzie earned at least two more games and a shot at the District 13A softball championship by slipping past Hollow Rock-Bruceton in an elimination game last Wednesday in Huntingdon.
Shelby Tucker had a double among her three hits and drove in two runs for MHS. Sarah Jackson was 1-3 with a double and an RBI. Alayna Parrish and Jenna Tucker each had hits for the Lady Rebels. Tiffani Hughey was 3-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI to pace the Lady Tigers.
McKenzie 6, West Carroll 1
McKenzie unlocked a tie game with four runs in the fourth for a 6-1 victory in the District 13A softball tournament at Huntingdon last Monday.
Alayna Parish was 3-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the Lady Rebels. Sarah Jackson doubled in a pair of runs and Shelby Tucker was 2-4 with a double. Amberleigh Cooper was 3-4 with an RBI. Kaetlyn Cherry had two hits for the Lady War Eagles.
Audrie Washburn struck out six for the victory while Shelby Browning was the pitcher of record for the Lady War Eagles.