UPDATE 5/18/2019 5:50 p.m.: With a 5-1 win over Signal Mountain, the SCHS Indians are headed to State! The state tournament takes place in the upcoming week, in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
May 14, 2019 – Sequatchie County High School has both their boys' and girls' teams in Region IV-AA ball games this week. Both the baseball team and the softball team won their District 7AA tournament, and have also won the first game in Region play.
If they each win the next Region game Wednesday, they will advance to a sub-state game.
Both head coaches say the unity of their team is what makes them successful.
“They've really bought in,” Coach Derrin Easterly said of his baseball players. “It's a close-knit group. They really play for each other.”
Coach Kelly Somerville says the same about her softball team.
“One of our strengths this year is that the girls are all very close to each other,” she explained today. “These relationships and these bonds show, out on the field. When you're with people you trust to have your back, it makes a big difference.”
Both the Indians and the Lady Indians were practicing hard on Tuesday, even though they were flush from a great win over a tough rival.
Coach Easterly has been at SCHS for three years, and took his team from winning 10 games out of 30 the first year, to 23 wins so far this year. In winning the district tournament, the Indians earned the right to host the first game of the Region tournament, so their win against Cannon County was on home turf.
“It was a close game,” he said. “They scored a run in the first and second innings and went up 2-0. In the third, we scored three runs and went up 3-2. Top of the seventh, they scored one run to tie up. We won it bottom of the eighth, with a run. Final score was 4-3.”
Colin Hudson pitched the game and had a RBI. Caden Swanger hit the game-winning single scored by Austin Mitchell from second base.
This is the second consecutive year the Lady Indians have won district under Coach Somerville, who has coached the team for six years. In the district tournament this year, her girls were undefeated, winning the tournament 3-0.
Hosting the first game of the Region championship, they beat Dekalb County 4-3.
“Bottom of the seventh inning we were down two runs,” she said. “We came back and tied it up and went ahead 4-3.”
Mackenzie Turner pitched the full game and struck out nine, allowing only two hits. Sequatchie won with a walk-off single at the bottom of the seventh inning.
“These girls worked really hard to get where they are,” Somerville said. “They set some goals at the start of the year and stayed focused, day in and day out, on what it took to reach those goals.”
Easterly also expressed respect for his players.
“It's been a really fun group to coach,” he said. “Everything you could ask for as a coach, these kids encompass that.”
Both teams will enjoy the prospect of hosting a sub-state game at the end of the week if they win the Wednesday night game, but if they lose tomorrow they will have to travel somewhere else to play the next game.
The first sub-state game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, but Coach Somerville said her team will not play Friday, because some of her players are scheduled to go through commencement exercises that night. Instead, they will work out an arrangement for another day with whichever team they end up playing.
For the time being, she was watching her players with grim-faced concentration as they got in batting practice in the indoor facility.
“The girl we face tomorrow pitches 65,” she explained. “We needed the pitching machine today.”
Indians baseball faces Grundy County tomorrow, and Lady Indians softball plays Marion County. Both are home games starting at 5 p.m. CDT.
Lady Indians softball is also going to the state tournament in Murfreesboro, after winning their final region game, against Sweetwater, 7-3.