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Lady Bearcats defeat Spencer for first district win

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By John Herndon

The Anderson County High School softball team overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat host Spencer County, 8-5, in 30th District action Monday night in Taylorsville.

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The Lady Bearcats claimed the victory in their first regular-season district contest of the season. Anderson will be going for its sixth consecutive district crown next month.

“Our kiddos were really focused and played with confidence and energy,” Lady Bearcat coach Brent Aldridge said.

Spencer had taken a 2-1 lead into the top of the fourth when Anderson jumped on Spencer pitching for seven runs. “We strung several hits together,” Aldridge said, noting that Spencer starter Emily Cole struggled before giving way to Elisabeth Huckleberry.

Sophomore Lexi Tinsley had a big night, going 4-fo4-four at the plate with three RBI. She got the Lady Cats going in the first when she singled to drive in Sammy Rogers, who had led the game off with a double. Rogers went 2-for-5 with a double and a triple.

Tinsley pitched the entire game, scattering nine hits, but allowing just two earned runs.

Anderson was without starting first baseman Hannah Whitaker and right fielder Taylor Brown, both of whom were sick. The Lady Bearcats moved catcher Bailey Curry to first base, with Mattie Copenhaver taking over behind the plate. Eighth-grader Lauren Ballard opened the game in left field with freshman Anna Grace McGregor patrolling right.

“We had a few lineup adjustments with younger kids but they did well. The young kids made a few mistakes but outside of that, they played extremely well,” Aldridge said. “It was a good win. We could have laid down when the girls learned we would be without starters but they stayed focused.”

It was the first time Anderson had gone against former coach Brian Glass, who had to relinquish his duties when his brother, Chris, was named principal at Anderson prior to the 2013-14 school year. Aldridge took over at that time. Brian Glass continues to teach at Anderson County Middle School.

“Before the game, I just instructed the girls it wasn't about anything but the Spencer players and the Anderson players. Not I, or Brian, are able to play the game so just make it about themselves and not anyone else.

“Spencer County is going to be right there at the end of the year, so we have to stay focused on improving each game.”

Anderson, ranked No. 23 in the latest statewide poll, improved to 8-5 on the year while Spencer, ranked 22nd, dropped to 13-5.