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Roane County’s best softball rivalry over the past few years has been the battle for the top spot in District 3-A between Rockwood and Midway.
The two teams met again Tuesday afternoon and it would be the green and gold of Rockwood taking the early lead in District 3-A with a 9-3 victory over the Lady Waves.
“This is a huge win for us,” Lady Tiger pitcher Hayley Turpin said following the game. “There’s still a lot of games to play, but we’re in the driver’s seat now.”
Turpin played a huge role in Tuesday’s victory. Last year at this time, Turpin was a third baseman, but after the graduation of District 3-A MVP Lindsey Booth, the right-handed senior is now leading the Lady Tigers on the rubber.
“I’ve never felt this kind of pressure,” Turpin said. “I do my best to put it in there and let my defense do their job.”
Throwing strikes is what Turpin did Tuesday as she walked the Lady Waves’ leadoff hitter, but she did not issue another free pass all game. The Lady Waves did pick up 13 hits, but Rockwood’s defense made enough plays to leave 12 Midway runners stranded on the day.
Midway did grab the early lead as after the leadoff walk to Haley Wiley, CF Danielle Borum launched a two-run homer that put the Lady Waves on top, 2-0.
That lead lasted until the third inning when Rockwood exploded for nine runs, eight coming with two outs.
“We’ve always been a team that will rally; we’ve always been able to go a long way with two outs,” Turpin said.
Vida Harp, Lexi Monroe (2 runs), Kelsey Brackett, Shaley Grant, Turpin, Haley Yelton, Tiffany Wilkie and Savannah Brackett all scored for Rockwood in the frame. Harp had two hits in the inning while Grant, Yelton and Wilkie also picked up singles.
Midway’s defense didn’t help their cause in the rally as the Lady Waves allowed three runners to reach on errors, two on walks and one was hit by a pitch.
After the wild third inning, Rockwood held the 9-2 lead until the seventh inning when Midway’s Paige Moree singled and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Christina Stansbury.
Rockwood picked up eight hits on the day with Harp (2-3, 1 RBI, 1 run), Yelton (2-2, 1 RBI, 1 run) and Wilkie (2-4, 1 RBI, 1 run) all having multiple hits.
Borum (3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 run), Moree (2-4, 1 run), Stansbury (3-3, 1 RBI) and Hali Morris (2-4) had multiple hits for Midway.
Sophomore Alex Richardson took the loss for the Lady Waves.
The teams will meet again on Friday, April 22 at Midway.