And away we go!

Spring sports ready to pick up tempo

William Blount could be very good.

Considering the way they rallied, so could Alcoa’s Lady Tornadoes.

The two area softball teams delivered an opening day nail-biter on Monday, with the Lady Governors holding off Alcoa to extract an 8-7 win.

The Heritage and Maryville baseball teams also came away winners on opening day, with the Mountaineers rallying on four runs in the bottom of the seventh to upend Sevier County, 9-8. The Rebels dispatched McMinn County, 9-6, on the road in their spring break get-away game.

The Lady Mountaineer softball team fell, 6-2, at Halls on Monday.

The Blount County spring sports scene picks up this week with area baseball and soccer teams hosting tournaments. The Athletic House Invitational baseball tournament got under way Wednesday at Alcoa and Heritage high schools and will continue through Saturday.

The Blount County Soccer Tournament will follow a round-robin format the next three days, with all games contested at Alcoa’s Goddard Field.

William Blount softball coach Abbie Mitchell and Alcoa counterpart Paul Talley, whose squads are both in rebuilding years, both came away with positives on Monday. Time and again the Lady Governors edged out front, only to see the Lady Tornadoes tear back.

William Blount, which produced the season’s first home run off the bat of third baseman Katelyn Purkey, opened a four-run lead in its half of the fifth. Alcoa, with senior Kaylee Garrett just missing a round-tripper with a blast off the right-center field wall, trimmed the deficit back to one in the bottom of the frame.

Erica Tuck collected the win in the pitching circle for the Class AAA Lady Governors, with Nicole Tidwell going the distance in a strong effort for the AA Lady Tornadoes.

Tuck struck out 10 and surrendered one hit as William Blount followed Monday’s win with a 12-0 dismissal of Lenoir City on Tuesday.

Hitting, pitching, defense — William Blount looked at times a team more than ready to challenge for the District 4AAA crown. The Lady Governors, incorporating several new players, simply need time to gel, Mitchell said. Talley, whose Lady Tornadoes compete in a district that includes multi-state champion Gibbs, is equally optimistic concerning the season that awaits Alcoa.

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