GREENBRIER - The Creek Wood softball team was shut out 6-0 by Forrest in the Region 6-AA title game Wednesday.
A repeat performance was not in order in Friday’s TSSAA Class AA sectional at Greenbrier.
The Lady Red Hawks crushed four home runs and finished with 16 total hits in a 13-6 victory over the Lady Bobcats. Creek Wood advanced to its third straight Class AA state tournament, and its seventh since the school opened in 2002.
“We kind of expected it at the beginning because we’re pretty strong this year,” Creek Wood senior Sam Morgan said. “But it never gets old. You’re going to be excited every single time.”
Junior Lennon Spicer led the way with two home runs and five RBIs. She also pitched a complete game and struck out nine Greenbrier hitters.
“This is our year,” Spicer said. “We’ve all played together for a long time, and we work well together as a team. If we can keep hitting like we did tonight and keep our defense together, we can go really far.”
Creek Wood (34-5-1) scored three runs in the first, third and fourth innings, before plating a pair of runs in the sixth and the seventh.
Morgan went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers. Maddy Pullum finished 3-for-4 and Jaylee Howard also had a pair of hits for the Lady Red Hawks.
“We had a really good night [at the plate],” Creek Wood coach Nancy Jackson said. “We’ve been kind of flat here lately, so it was good to see them come through.”
Greenbrier scored its first run in the second on a double by Carley Clinard. Freshman Kayla Doble hit a three-run bomb in the fourth and delivered a two-RBI double in the sixth to cut Creek Wood’s lead to 11-6.
But Greenbrier’s comeback attempt was thwarted in the sixth when Doble was called for interference after colliding with Creek Wood’s shortstop on the base path, a call Greenbrier coach Harris did not understand.
“She was not making a play on the ball,” Harris said of the Creek Wood player. “The ball [hit by Raylon Roach] was up the middle, and she was nowhere near it.”
Greenbrier (32-9) graduates just one senior – four-year starting infielder Shelby Clay.
“I’ve coached her since middle school,” Harris said, fighting back tears. “She’s always been a great player, she’s dedicated, she’s consistent. It’s gonna be big shoes to fill, for sure.”
The Lady Red Hawks kept their postgame celebration tame – no dogpile and no Gatorade bath. Morgan said that’s because there is still more to accomplish for Creek Wood, which opens the state tournament Tuesday afternoon at the Starplex Complex in Murfreesboro.
“Our end goal all four years I’ve been here is to win the last game,” Morgan said. “And we haven’t done that yet. With that many appearances, you want to [win] it even more.”