These kids are going to make a lot of noise on the high school level one day soon.
The Carpenters Middle School softball team capped an undefeated season in grand style recently, polishing off their Loudon counterparts, 20-12, to win the Blount County Middle School Softball Tournament.
Loudon, a guest entrant in the tournament, proved no match for a Cougars team which delivered a banner season. Eighth-grader Kacey Miller struck out an amazing 85 batters as Carpenters ran the table in finishing the year an unbeaten 12-0. The hard-throwing Miller compiled an almost unheard of 1.012 earned run average over the course of the season.
The run support Miller received was substantial, with eighth-grader Jennifer Houser posting a robust .455 batting average to pace Carpenters. Ominous for Cougar opponents next season is two sixth-graders - speedster Lindsey Roddy (26 stolen bases) and designated hitter Courtney Farris (.400 batting average) - will be back for another run.
“They’re just a disciplined bunch, the best bunch I’ve ever had discipline wise and running wise,” Carpenters coach David Ervin said. “It was a great season and a great bunch of kids to work with.”
Much of the team has played travel ball together the last couple of years, Ervin said. The chemistry they developed only continued when they took the field for Carpenters this fall.
“I think that’s what it takes to be a champion,” Ervin said, “playing together.”
The Blount County championship was a community effort as well, Ervin said, with several parents donating their time and efforts to construct the team’s field. The school added a press box to the field this fall, with Bobby Fagg, an adult in the community with no ties to the school, laying the cinder block to make it happen.
“We just had a lot of people help out and get the field ready to play,” Ervin said. “It’s a community thing.”