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Battery’s Included

Brown, Campbell power Alcoa softball past Sweetwater

Alcoa catcher Hattie Campbell watches her sixth-inning home run leave the park on Tuesday. Photos by Keith Driver. For more photos from the game, please visit our Photo Store.

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

It was one of many pitches Allie Brown made Tuesday afternoon, but Mickey Mantle would’ve had trouble with this one particular offering.

Alcoa pitcher Allie Brown

Alcoa pitcher Allie Brown

The late-game changeup appeared to stop and levitate some 20 feet from home plate.

The Sweetwater batter finished her swing — that’s finished her swing! — a long, long time before the ball got there.

“I’ve struggled with it a little this year,” Brown said. “Once I got it down, it’s really helped.”

The Lady Tornadoes playing error-free defense behind their ace in a 3-0 win at Alcoa.

Brown struck out eight in a gem where only one Wildcat got as far as second base.

Battery mate Hattie Campbell provided much of the pyrotechnics on offense, the Alcoa catcher depositing a two-run homer over the left-field fence in the Lady Tornado sixth to provide Brown with some breathing room.

Christina White plated the other Alcoa run in the bottom of the first, with Tori Ogle singling to center for the RBI.

As masterful as Brown looked Tuesday, the Lady Tornadoes were never clear enough of the Wildcats to relax prior to the Campbell bomb. It was the kind of game Alcoa needed with District 4AA rival Christian Academy of Knoxville visiting the confines for a game this afternoon at 5:30, Alcoa co-coach Sam Thomas said.

The Lady Tornadoes toe the base line for the anthem.

“(The Campbell home run) was huge,” he said. “That takes the pressure off the pitcher and lets her relax and just throw her pitches.

“At 1-0, one mistake and things can change dramatically. Defensively, this was more us and this is what we’ve got to do.”

Demi Coleman singled her way aboard to lead off the Alcoa sixth. Campbell followed, having flied out to left in each of her previous two at bats. Both times, the Walters State commitment had just missed catching the ball square.

“I just felt it, and I knew what I needed to correct,” she said.

Alcoa Middle eighth-grader SieAnna Cameron, Campbell’s cousin, knew the drive would clear the fencing at the crack of the bat.

“I play in the outfield,” Cameron said. “I just read the ball, and it had a perfect rise.”

Sure did.

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