It was an improbable run in many regards.
Eagleville's softball team made its first-ever Class A state title and relied on youth in the process.
After dropping to the loser's bracket in its second game, the Lady Eagles won two games on Thursday and defeated district nemesis Huntland 5-1 on Friday to reach the championship game.
The Lady Eagles, however, came up just short as they fell 3-0 to Summertown, which got a shutout from pitcher Claire Woods.
“It hasn’t hit me that we lost a state championship," Eagleville coach Bridgette Elmore said. "I’m still in awe of being in a state championship. The two losses we took this week came from (Summertown) and they are a great team.”
MTSU commit Woods faced Eagleville for the second time in the state tournament. She allowed just four hits and struck out 11 batters in her third shutout in four games.
Eagleville’s Addisyn Linton did all she could to hold Summertown to just three runs. Summertown collected nine hits, but Linton stranded nine runners on the base paths.
“I think our first game (5-1 defeat of Huntland) was a great warm-up for both Addisyn and our hitters,” Elmore adds. “They played with more confidence today than when we lost 9-0 (on Wednesday). We played like we deserved to be here.”
This was the first state tournament appearance in program history, with a lot of promise for a young team. Eagleville started four eighth-graders in Friday’s championship, including all four hits in the championship coming from an eighth-grader.
Winning their first district regular season and sectional championships in program history, Elmore says this will elevate the expectations for the Lady Eagles' softball program.
“The softball program has not been a program people come to see, and they deserve all this attention," Elmore said. "Our expectations is no longer ‘making history.' We want to make this normal culture for our team, and we have the right community to do that.”