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STATE BOUND: Lady Raiders back to state softball tournament after 7-2 sectional win over Smyrna

Different year, same result.

When the pressure turned up and the games started to matter more, Coffee County Central Softball Lady Raiders showed up. The Lady Raiders got two home runs from Kaitlyn Davis in a 7-2 win over Smyrna Friday night in the state sectional, sending Coffee County back to the TSSAA Spring Fling State Softball tournament for the second year in a row.

Friday night in Manchester, Coffee County jumped in front early when Kiya Ferrell tripled and scored on a wild pitch, then Kaitlyn Davis blasted the first of her to home runs in the second inning to put CHS up 2-0.

Smyrna rebounded in the third, scoring a pair on two hits and the help of a Lady Raider error to tie the game at 2-2. Then Smyrna looked to have all the momentum with the scored tied at 2-2 and the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth. But a comebacker to Davis started a 1-2-3 double play. Davis followed suit with a strikeout of Anna Lay to end the threat and then promptly put the Lady Raiders back in front in the bottom half of the inning with another solo blast.

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CHS never gave up the lead from there. The Lady Raiders went on to deliver the backbreaker in the sixth inning on hits from Jalyn Moran and Haidyn Campbell, paired with two Smyrna errors and a hit by pitch to push the lead to 7-2.

Davis earned the win in the circle. She allowed 5 runs through the first three innings and settled in after that, allowing just 3 hits over the last few innings. She struck out 4 batters.

Coffee County now returns to the TSSAA Spring Fling State Softball Tournament for the second consecutive year. Last year the Lady Raiders finished state runner up to Farragut. This will be the first year with four classifications – previous years only have three.

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Other 4A teams that have already punched their tickets to the state tournament include Daniel Boone, Stewarts Creek, Wilson Central, Summit, Springfield, and Clarksville. One other game remains – Farragut and Dobbyns-Bennett will play on Saturday at 6 p.m. for the final spot.

State tournament games will be at Murfreesboro Starplex and McKnight Park. All Lady Raider games will be broadcast live on Thunder Radio, WMSR – 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, 106.7 FM, Manchester Go app and

The Lady Raiders celebrate Friday night, May 20, 2022, after beating Smyrna 7-2 to advance to the TSSAA Spring Fling State Softball Tournament. — Thunder Radio photo by Holly Peterson

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