East Union wins first UCT championship

No team has a clear advantage when it comes to the Union County Tournament, as East Union proved last Saturday. The Lady Urchins were more than ready to play, going 4-0 to claim the school’s first ever tournament title.

“They came out here ready to play today. They played hard and they played together, and they relaxed and had fun. It was just a great day overall for the girls.,” East Union head coach Kelly Robbins said.

The game of the day came when the two team’s faced off, as both were 2-0 going into the match-up. 

West Union held a 1-0 advantage heading into the third, as Carley Wilkerson scored after a pop up. East Union’s bats came alive, as the Lady Urchins had four hits and two walks in the inning.

Mallory Roberts opened with a walk, and scored on a triple by Chelsea Kuhn. A sacrifice fly by Rachel Eler plated Kuhn, followed by back-to-back singles by Amy McCullough and Sunnie Knighton. Carley Mahon was intentionally walked to load the bases, and a single by Savannah Alexander scored two more runs to make it 4-1 in favor of East Union.

The Lady Urchins added on two more runs in the fourth, as Roberts scored on a single by Kuhn after reaching on a triple. Knighton would also have an RBI single, plating Kuhn and making it 6-1.

Claire Wilkerson would score in the bottom half of the inning, and West Union would add one more in in the sixth off of an RBI single by Leah Paige Goolsby, but with the time limit, the game ended giving the Lady Urchins the edge for the tourney title.

That was a big win for us. West Union has a solid win, so it was a big win. I think it helped that our girls found the hole lately and picked up on how they were playing their defense,” Robbins said. “We found the openings, and they played some smart ball in that game. Our defense was really well played all day, so overall we did a good job.”

Knighton had two hits in the game, while Kuhn and Elder each hit 2-for-4, and Alexander went 2-for-3.

For the Lady Eagles, Kimberly Jumper, Robyn Taylor, Carley Wilkerson and Claire Wilkerson all went 2-for-3.

East Union opened the tournament with a close win over Myrtle, as the Lady Urchins scored five runs in the final two innings to take the 5-3 win. McCullough and Knighton each went 2-for-3 in the win, but the Lady Hawks had the 8-7 edge in hits for the game.

“I told them that they knew how to hit, and they knew what to do to get up there and relax. I also told them to quit trying so hard, and just to get up there and hit like they know how,” Robbins said. “They like to overachieve, but sometimes you’ve got to get up there and have fun.”

The Lady Urchins responded to their coach’s words with a 14-2 rout of New Albany in their second game. That win was highlighted by a three-run homerun by McCullough.

East Union faced Ingomar in their final game, and the Lady Falcons hung close until a double by Knighton in the third gave the Lady Urchins the 3-2 lead, and they would score two more runs in the fourth to take the 5-3 win and the tournament title.

West Union finished second in the tournament with a 3-1 record. An impressive showing by the Lady Eagles, they scored at least 10 runs in every game except for the East Union loss. West Union won 10-0 over both Ingomar and New Albany and ended the day with a 15-0 win over Myrtle, who defeated the Lady Eagles the night before, 6-5 in an exciting divisional game.

New Albany finished at 2-2 with a 7-1 win over Ingomar and a 5-2 win over the Lady Hawks. Myrtle’s lone win came against the Lady Falcons in a 5-2 contest.