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By GOOSE LINDSAY
Friday, May 16, 2008, will go down as a great day in the history of Roane County athletics as not one, not two, but three teams from Roane County wrapped up berths in next week's TSSAA State Tournament in Murfreesboro.
In baseball, Harriman and Rockwood both punched their tickets. Rockwood will be making its second straight state tournament appearance with an 8-0 victory over University School of Johnson City, while Harriman will be making its second state tournament appearance since 2005 after knocking off Hancock County, 8-7.
In softball, Midway wrapped up a third straight trip to the TSSAA Spring Fling by pulling out a 1-0 thriller over Unaka in nine innings.
All three teams will play Tuesday evening in the opening round.
Midway 1 Unaka 0
It basically came down to two plays at the plate as Midway's Krystal Rue threw out a runner at home in the sixth inning while Kati Alexander beat a throw home in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Lady 'Waves to Murfreesboro.
Alexander was on first with two outs in the inning, but Paige Moree walked to move her into scoring position. Haley Parks then looped a soft liner into center field that proved to be the game winner.
Hannah Colyer picked up the win after tossing a complete-game three-hitter with one walk and 12 strikeouts.
Colyer, however, injured an ankle sliding into third in the bottom of the ninth inning and her status for Tuesday is up in the air.
Rockwood 8 USJC 0
Three days after suffering a 13-3 loss to Harriman in the Region 2-A championship game, the Tigers bounced back with a vengeance as Joey Cofer's squad rolled to an 8-0 victory over the Junior Bucs.
Senior Zach Breazeale tossed a complete-game six hitter in leading the Tigers to victory. Breazeale also knocked off the Junior Bucs in last year's sectional contest.
Offensively, the Tigers pounded out 13 hits and seemed to always have runners in scoring position.
Rockwood did the most damage in the top of the fifth inning as they sent nine batters to the plate with four of the nine coming around to score. Rockwood's remaining runs came in the second and sixth innings.
Beau Mayton, Breazeale, Bryant Allen, Shane Doughty, Tyler Skidmore and Chase Clem all had multiple hits for Rockwood in the win.
Harriman 8 Hancock County 7
For the third time this postseason, the Harriman Blue Devils staved off elimination by rallying late to keep their season alive.
Last Friday, Harriman rallied from three runs in the fifth inning down to defeat Midway 7-4 in the District 3-A Tournament. In Monday's Region 2-A Tournament opener, Harriman trailed 3-2 entering the seventh inning by scored three runs in the final frame to claim the 5-3 win.
Friday night, Andy Adcox's Blue Devils found themselves down 6-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but once again the Devils wouldn't quit as they rallied for the win.
Harriman actually led 4-0 after three innings, but a disastrous fourth inning gave the Indians a 6-4 lead.
Harriman, however, regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and they made the score 8-6 with a run in the sixth.
Hancock County would score a run in the seventh inning, but they would not catch the state-bound Blue Devils.
A.J. Johnson picked up the victory for Harriman after tossing a complete-game eight-hitter with one walk and nine strikeouts.