High School

Bradley's Walk Off Extends Greeneville's Season With 1-0 Win Over Elizabethton

Bradley's Walk Off Extends Greeneville's Season With 1-0 Win Over Elizabethton
Written by 
Dalton Lamb
May 17, 2022

“At the end of the day, we’re on our time.” That message rang out loud and clear through the Greeneville Lady Devils’ dugout on Monday evening. After six and two-thirds innings, Kaley Bradley decided it was time.

The senior worked a two-strike count, when she shortened up her swing and found a little space in shallow right field to drop in a seeing-eye single. The single would bring home Lydia Darnell, ending the Elizabethton shutout and the Lady Cyclones season while giving Greeneville a 1-0 win in the Region 1-3A Tournament semifinals.

Greeneville and Elizabethton were locked in a defensive battle for much of the game.

Greeneville's Leah Phillips had every pitch working, and she was executing her pitch sequence to perfection for most of the game. Changing speeds and the batter’s eye level was the strategy, and it led to Lady Cyclone hitters unable to square up many pitches from the sophomore righthander. Ground balls were plentiful, but only four hits found the scorebook on the day. Moreover, Phillips did not surrender a base-on-balls through seven innings of work.

Phillips had to be as effective as she was on the day, because Madisun Pritchard threw a gem of her own for the Lady Cyclones. Pritchard worked six and two-thirds, striking out six, surrendering only five hits, giving up two walks and allowing one run. Unfortunately for Elizabethton, the one earned run was on the final pitch of the game.

Elizabethton started the game with two ground outs before Ember Jensen was able to get aboard with a single into left field. Phillips would get the very next batter to ground out, stranding Jensen at first base.

The Lady Devils found themselves with two quick outs in the home half of the first inning, when Lydia Darnell hit a deep fly ball to right field that bounced off the wall, allowing Darnell to leg out a double. An error by Jensen at shortstop would place runners at first and second base for Greeneville, but a ground out would end the first inning of play.

Starting in the top of the second inning, the next eight batters would be retired in order.

Maely Ingram laced a double over Darnell’s head in center field with two outs in the top of the third inning. However, Phillips got the very next batter to ground out, ending the scoring threat from the Lady Cyclones.

Greeneville went three up, three down in the bottom of the third, leaving the door open for Elizabethton to break things open in the fourth inning.

Ember Jensen tried to start the rally with a lead off single, but first base is far as she would make it. Phillips worked back-to-back fly balls and a ground ball to end the half inning unscathed.

The Lady Devils were not able to score a baserunner in the fourth inning, but found some life in the bottom of the fifth inning with Ashlyn Rachon reaching base on a single to lead things off. Lauren Million advanced Rachon to second on a sacrifice bunt. Madison Carpenter laid down another sacrifice bunt, and Rachon was on third base with two outs. Pritchard was able to work out of the jam, striking out the very next batter to give her offense another chance.

Once again, the Lady Cyclones were able to reach base to start the inning on a single by Ingram. A sacrifice bunt would move Ingram to second base, but that is as far as she would make it. Phillips was able to record a fly out and ground out to end the top of the sixth inning.

Phillips came to the circle in the top of the seventh inning needing to keep the Lady Cyclones off balance once more, and she was able to do just that, getting Elizabethton to go three up, three down.

The bottom of the seventh inning started with a bang, as Lydia Darnell doubled to center field. The Lady Cyclones elected to intentionally walk Rachon, leaving the door open for a sacrifice bunt by Million. The SAC bunt moved Darnell and Rachon to second and third base with only one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. To put a force out in play at the plate, Elizabethton intentionally walked Madison Carpenter to load the bases.

That’s when Bradley dug into the box.

Bradley took a first pitch strike, fouled off the second pitch and watched a ball go by to force a 1-2 count. The very next pitch is one the senior will remember for a long time. A shortened swing on an outside pitch connected with just enough loft and distance to find some green grass in shallow right field.

The single brought home Lydia Darnell, giving the Lady Devils the one, and only, run they would need to secure a spot in Wednesday’s Region 1-3A championship game.

The Lady Devils will be on the road at Tennessee High on Wednesday evening.

The win on Monday also clinches a spot in Friday's state sectional round. A win Wednesday means a home game on Friday, and loss Wednesday sends the Lady Devils on the road to Knoxville to take on the winner of Gibbs and Carter.

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