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REGION TOURNAMENT: Davis blasts homer, strikes out 12 in Lady Raider win

Coffee County's Kaitlyn Davis fires a strike in the region semi-finals Monday, May 15, 2023. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

It took five and a half innings to set up the scene Monday night.

Then Kaitlyn Davis took center stage.

With the scored tied 0-0 in the bottom of the sixth and the season on the line, Davis deposited a 3-2 pitch over the right centerfield fence for a 2-run homer, jump-starting a 4-run inning and eventually a 4-0 Lady Raider win over Walker Valley at Terry Floyd Field.

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Coffee County will now host the Region 3-4A championship Wednesday against a familiar foe – Warren County, as the Lady Pioneers upset Rhea County Monday night. Walker Valley’s season ends with the loss.

If Coffee County wins Wednesday, the Lady Raiders will host a state sectional game Friday. A loss means they will travel. A win Friday means a third straight trip to the TSSAA Spring Fling State tournament next week – a feat never accomplished by the Lady Raiders. A loss Friday ends the season.

Monday night in Manchester, Davis’ blast broke a stalemate that saw both teams with opportunities to score without coming to fruition.

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The Lady Raiders had Paisley Campbell on second with two outs in the bottom of the fourth and got a hard-hit single from Ella Arnold – but a perfect throw from Walker Valley left fielder Karly Blackwell cut down Campbell at the plate.

Walker Valley had a prime opportunity in the top of the sixth, hit by pitch and a passed ball put runners on second and third with two outs. But Savannah Cooper handled a 2-out ground ball to end the threat.

That set the stage for a big sixth.

Cooper singled to left field. Then Davis blasted a 3-2 pitch into orbit, clearing the fence by 50 feet to right center and putting Coffee County up 2-0 (see video at bottom of this story). After a pop out, Jalyn Moran singled and moved to second on a Walker Valley throwing error. Channah Gannon laced a line drive off the fence to score Aleayia Barnes, who was running for Moran.

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Madison Pruitt then tripled to left center and knocked in a run.

Davis closed the door in the top of the seventh as she had done all night. The senior right-hander struck out 12 Walker Valley batters and scattered just 3 hits – all singles. She walked one and hit one.

CHS is winners of 9 in a row and sit at 25-7 on the season.

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