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The Alcoa Lady Tornadoes were a thorn in Kingston’s side during the regular season, sweeping the season series by scores of 9-6 and 11-4, but that all changed Monday evening as Kingston used a nine-run fifth inning to power past the Lady Tornadoes, 10-2, in the first day of double elimination play at the District 4-AA Tournament being played at Christian Academy of Knoxville.
Kingston’s fortunes didn’t seem any different in the early going as the Lady Tornadoes scored single runs in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead, but Lady Jacket starter Briley Garrett shook off the rough start and shut out Alcoa over the final five innings. For the evening, Garrett allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
Kingston cut the lead in half with a run in the top of the third inning. Rachel Layne walked and scored the run when Garrett was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double later in the inning.
The big inning started with a single from Taryn Underwood followed by a one-out double from Makenzie Spurgeon. The inning looked like it would end in frustration when Underwood was thrown out at home on a ground ball to second for the second out of the inning, but it would take some time before the third out was recorded.
The possible frustration turned into joy when Katherine Butler launched a three-run bomb deep into the night and over the fence in right-center field.
The Lady Jackets weren’t finished, though, as Samantha Aycock singled, Rachel Coffey singled, Alex Aycock doubled, Taylor Thurman singled, Underwood doubled, Layne singled and Spurgeon doubled in succession before the final out was made. All but Spurgeon scored as the Lady Jackets held a 10-2 lead.
Kingston ended the evening with 15 hits. Spurgeon (2-4, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Garrett (3-4, 1 run), Coffey (3-4, 2B, 1 run) and Underwood (2-3, 2B, 1 run) all had multiple hits for the Lady Jackets in the win.
Monday’s victory left the Lady Jackets one win away from qualifying for next week’s Region 2-AA Tournament. Kingston’s first crack at that win came Tuesday against Christian Academy of Knoxville.