Lady Cards ousted by a Renfroe - again
By Andrew Alexander
On the fourth consecutive day of hot and humid softball for the Lady Cardinals they ran into a road block on their way to post-season glory in the shape of a TCA Lion, losing to Trinity Christian in the District 15A Tournament by a final score of 5-2.
“The girls didn’t quit,” said Coach Todd McGee. “You could tell they were getting tired, but their minds were on trying to advance out of the district.”
Adamsville faced a familiar foe, in name, Thursday, matching up against TCA’s Anna Renfroe, the sister of two TCA alumni and current University of Tennessee softball pitchers that, in the past, had caused problems for all District 15A hitters not wearing purple and black.
Putting the past behind them, the Lady Cardinals got runners on base early in the first inning of Thursday’s semi-final game, but could not manage to push a run across the plate.
Trinity’s lead-off hitter tripled, and eventually scored after a sacrifice bunt was laid down by Renfroe, giving the Lady Lions a 1-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
Adamsville did not apply any pressure on Trinity’s defense during the top of the second, but in the bottom half of the inning, starting pitcher Taylor Hutton began to show signs of dominance with a quick 1-2-3 inning that included 2 strikeouts.
After a Bailey Wicker infield single, Macayla Kiddy tripled home a run in the top of the third to tie the game at 1-1.
A lead-off walk in the bottom of the inning spelled trouble for AHS as Trinity plated 2 more runs, giving Renfroe a 3-1 cushion going into the fourth.
The bats were quiet for the Lady Cardinals in the top of the fourth, and in the bottom of the inning TCA put two more runs on their side of the scoreboard, making it 5-1 Lady Lions at the end of four.
Adamsville held TCA scoreless through the fifth and sixth innings, but still could not get the bats going against Renfroe, and were still down four runs as the seventh inning rolled around.
The Lady Cards were down to the last three outs of their season and attempted to mount a comeback in the final inning.
A lead-off walk by Whitney Wrzesniewski got AHS in business, and a double to left field by Amanda Krenson definitely did not harm the Cardinal effort as it left Adamsville with runners on second and third.
Wicker singled Wrzesniewski home, cutting the Adamsville deficit to three runs, and as the throw sailed from center field to the catcher, Wicker advanced to second base, keeping multiple runners in scoring position as the Cardinals were two outs away from elimination.
Kiddy laced a ball between the first and second basemen, but a terrific play by the Lion’s defense robbed Kiddy of a couple of RBIs.
The game ended on a ground ball to second, and for the sixth time in seven seasons the Lady Cardinals tasted defeat in the district tournament at the hands of a Renfroe from TCA.
“Taylor pitched a good game today,” said McGee, “but we didn’t hit the ball as well today as we did in the other games.”
Hutton threw all 6 innings for AHS, striking out 4 in the process, and only allowing 1 earned run, but took the loss for the Cardinals.
Wicker led Adamsville, going 2-4 with 2 singles, 1 RBI and 1 run scored.
Kiddy finished the day 1-4 with a triple and 1 RBI.
Kristina Milford was 1-3 with a single and a walk.
Amanda Krenson was 1-1 in the last game of her Cardinal career with a double and a walk.
Fellow senior Danielle Plunk was also 1-3 with a single in the season finale.
“It wasn’t the same girl that stepped up for us in all of our games,” said McGee. “It was someone different almost every game.”
The Lady Cardinals played four games in four days with wins against Scotts Hill and South Gibson, but losses to Riverside and Trinity Christian to finish 3rd in the District 15A Tournament.
“I think we had a really good tournament.” McGee said, “I was really proud of them. They played well, and they gave us a chance to keep competing as the tournament went on.”
Adamsville finished 17-19-1 on the season with a 9-8 record in District 15A match-ups.
The Cardinals said goodbye to three seniors Thursday evening; Corrie Hill, Amanda Krenson, and Danielle Plunk, but look forward to the future with all the young, quality underclassmen that will still be gracing the halls of AHS.
In prior action, the Lady Cardinals overcame a seventh-inning rally by South Gibson High School and avoided elimination in the District 15A Tournament by defeating the Lady Hornets 8-6 Wednesday, May 11.
After dropping their first game of the tournament Monday night against Riverside High School, the Lady Cards found themselves in the losers’ bracket.
On Tuesday Adamsville advanced in the losers’ bracket by ending the Lady Lions of Scotts Hill’s season with a 4-0 victory that allowed them to continue on to face SGHS at Trinity Christian Academy on Wednesday evening.
AHS senior Danielle Plunk gave the Lady Cardinals an early lead with a base hit to left field, scoring lead-off hitter Bailey Wicker, making the score 1-0 going into the second.
South Gibson answered back in the top of the second, knotting the score at 1-1.
Amanda Krenson’s fly ball to center field in the bottom of the second was misplayed by the Lady Hornet outfielder, and allowed two additional runs to score for Adamsville, bringing their lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Lady Cardinals increased their lead by 2 more runs, making the score 5-1 after Macayla Kiddy and Olivia Johnson drove in runs.
After a double from the bat of Kristina Milford, the Cards were in business again in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on another run courtesy of a sacrifice fly from Whitney Wrzesniewski, bringing Adamsville’s lead to 6-1.
Two more runs crossed the plate for the Lady Cardinals in the bottom of the sixth, and AHS charged into the final inning with a 7-run lead, 8-1.
The Lady Hornets singled home a run off starting pitcher Samantha Oaks, and cut their deficit to six runs before Coach McGee looked to the bullpen to close out the game.
Taylor Hutton received the nod from the coaching staff, and took her place on the mound to shut down the Hornets.
The final inning became very tense as South Gibson began manufacturing runs in the final inning.
The late Hornet rally certainly drew the AHS supporters to the edges of their folding chairs, but in the end Hutton and the Cardinal defense closed the door on SGHS and advanced to the District 15A Tournament Semi-finals with an 8-6 victory.
Oaks pitched a solid 6 1/3 innings, allowing only 2 runs to cross the plate, and was awarded the win.
Hutton overcame adversity under the pressure of elimination and got the save for the Lady Cardinals.
Kiddy and Krenson both had 2 RBIs.
Wrzesniewski walked once, was credited with an RBI, and also stole 2 bases.
Olivia Johnson finished 1-1 with 1 RBI.
Milford was 2-4 on the day with a double.
Senior Corrie Hill did not record a hit on the day but walked twice, stole a base, and scored 2 runs.
Plunk was Adamsville’s leading producer offensively in Wednesday’s action, going 2-3 with 2 singles, 1 walk, and an RBI.