Sequoyah knows its identity.
The Lady Chiefs are based off of a power-hitting approach, and that strategy was successful in Tuesday, May 7’s District 5-AA tournament win over Sweetwater. Sequoyah blasted four homers en route to the 12-6 win, pushing the team to the district championship game.
“We’ve got a lot of power,” Sequoyah head coach Allen Roberts said. “I don’t bunt, we don’t run because we’re not fast. We’re a power-hitting ball team. So we let them swing. They just swing.
“When we’re barrelling it up, all nine girls in my lineup can hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
Sweetwater got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning, with Abby Starnes batting in Mari Robbins on a single. The Lady Chiefs got runners on second and first base with one out in the top of the second, but the Lady Wildcats turned a double play to end the inning.
Sequoyah found its offensive rhythm in the top of the third, though, as Macy Miner scored on an error, Olivia Underwood homered to score Maycee Bovard and Kadence Brewer as well and Tristan Bradley drove home Abbey Borden with a sacrifice fly.
A Kylie Hicks two-RBI double cut Sequoyah’s lead to two in the bottom of the third inning, but the Lady Chiefs responded with an RBI double by Underwood and a two-run homer by Borden, forcing a Sweetwater pitching change.
It was the fourth of Underwood’s five-RBI day.
“Olivia Underwood is one of the best players in the state of Tennessee … she’s the best catcher in the state of Tennessee, I think probably,” Roberts said. “Best one I’ve seen. You don’t see better. People don’t run on her.
“(Sweetwater’s) Mari Robbins runs like crazy on everybody. She don’t run on Olivia. They hold them tight. And not only is she such a great defensive catcher, but she can hit the ball.”
The Lady Chiefs kept pouring it on, scoring four more runs in the next two innings. Madison Miner recorded a solo homer, Underwood batted in Macy Miner with a single and Madison Miner homered yet again to push Sequoyah’s run count to 12.
Sweetwater produced three runs in the same span, as Emily Barnes and Jordan Key scored on a wild pitch and the ensuing confusion and Addie Lowe drove home Robbins with a single, but Sequoyah’s lead was too secure.
The win moved the Lady Chiefs to a spot in the district tournament championship game on Thursday, May 9.
“The thing is getting to the championship game because when you get there, you’re guaranteed regions … it’s comfortable being in (the championship) because you’re guaranteed regions and that’s what you want,” Roberts said. “You want to advance.”
As for Sweetwater, the loss matched the Lady Wildcats up with Meigs Co. in an elimination game, with the winner making its way to face Sequoyah in the championship game.
“We had about the same amount of hits … they got key hits where we left base runners stranded,” Sweetwater head coach Sarah Davies said. “Our pitchers run out of gas a little bit, they had four homeruns. Hats off to them. They’re a good hitting team, but so are we.
“We just couldn’t put the hits together to capitalize and get the momentum going, and that was it.”
Davies said that the team has been fighting illnesses and fatigue and that could have played a factor in the loss.
“We want to do it for our seniors,” Davies said. “We want to experience that, what we’ve experienced the past two years. We’re talented enough to do it. The road is there for us. We’ve just hit a little bump.
“And that doesn’t mean that we’re done and I think this is going to light a fire under us.”