Lady ‘Cats roll to district title

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By Brody Jones

Championship games separate the good teams from the great ones. 

Thursday evening, it was the Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats that were destined for greatness with an impressive 8-1 win over the Coalfield Lady Jackets to win the District 4-A Softball Championship. 

Thursday's title marks the first tournament championship for the Lady 'Cats since 2007 and it adds another win to the Lady 'Cats school record, as Oliver Springs is now 24-4 on the season.

"I'm excited for the girls that worked hard to get here," a nearly speechless Oliver Springs head coach Matt Headden said after the game. "This was a highlight for our senior girls. This group has accomplished a lot in four years. This is the winningest team in school history, and tonight put us as the first group of seniors to win 80 games in a high school career." 

After Coalfield had an opportunity to get on the board thwarted when Diana Ratcliffe got picked off trying to steal home in the top of the first inning, the Lady 'Cats roared to life with five runs in the bottom of the frame.

Oliver Springs scored their first two runs when Rachel Griffith and Raichel Snellings walked then Tiffany Roberts had an RBI single before two runs scored on wild pitches to push the lead to 5-0. 

After a scoreless second inning, the Lady 'Cats added two more runs to their lead to 7-0. Rachel Griffith and Raichel Snellings opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Macy Martin drove in the first run with a double. Emily Griffith added a sacrifice fly RBI to make give the Lady 'Cats the seven-run lead.

Oliver Springs to get their eighth run on an Emily Griffith RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. Snellings scored the run after singling to begin the frame. 

The Jackets avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh inning on a Morgan Meredith RBI to make the final score 8-1. 

"It's great to win this championship because anytime you beat a team like Coalfield, that's a reason to celebrate," Headden said. 

Oliver Springs was led at the plate by Martin (2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 run), Snellings (2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 runs) and Char-Lee Roberts (2-3, 1 run). Courtney Jones (CG, 5 hits, 0 BB, 6 Ks) got the win. 

Coalfield was led at the plate by Hannah Melhorn (2-3). 

Next up for Oliver Springs is a Region 2-A showdown with the Midway Lady Waves on Monday. 

"I told the girls that we reached our first goal,” Headden said. “Now, we have to win regions, sectionals, and state and take it one step at a time."

 Monday's game will be played at Oliver Springs' Arrowhead Park.