Tuscola softball grabs dominant victory against T.C. Roberson

Mar. 15—Tuscola softball got back on track Wednesday evening with a 7-0 win over T.C. Roberson.

"I'm really proud of them. We did a lot of things well. We were consistent pitching, offensively and defensively. That's what we need to do. That's what we've been trying to work on — getting all three of those things together to get the game we had today," Tuscola coach Lindsay Markos said. "We needed this win to remind these girls that if we play our way, then we're fine."

The win came two days after a 15-8 loss at A.C. Reynolds — a loss the Mountaineers needed a bounce back from.

That bounce-back started quickly for the Lady Mountaineers.

After giving up just one hit in the top half of the first inning, Tuscola struck first in the bottom half.

Freshman Alexis Markos found her way on with a ground ball back at the pitcher. She then stole second during the next at-bat and third in the following at-bat, which resulted in a walk for junior Addi Sampson.

As Sampson attempted to steal second, a bad throw made its way into the outfield and Markos came in to score.

The Lady Mountaineers stole three bases in total while advancing on passed balls numerous times, as well.

"We have a lot of wheels on our team," Markos said. "In softball, if you can manufacture those runs and play some of that short game, it matters big time."

Tuscola opened the offensive floodgates in the fourth inning.

It seemed to take Tuscola a bit of time to adjust to the slower pitches coming from the Roberson pitcher. Early in the game, hitters were out in front of pitches often.

"I told them to step up in the box and adjust to her speed," Markos said. "When I saw her warming up, she had a lot of balls breaking low and her curveball, so if you can get up and see it before it breaks, you're going to make contact. We hit a lot of hard balls."

A pair of singles opened the bottom of the fourth inning.

A ground out made it a 2-0 game, scoring the runner from third. With two outs, the visiting Rams had a chance to get out of the inning with minimal damage, but Tuscola had other ideas.

A walk for Markos loaded the bases before senior Allison Setzer reached on an error, scoring a run for the Mounties.

A double for junior Addi Sampson scored Markos, Setzer and senior Karsen Cherry, pushing the lead out to 6-0.

Sampson's double gave herself some run support, but she didn't need any — throwing five shutout innings.

"Our pitching was great," Markos said. "This is what we have needed. Addi Sampson is one of the best pitchers in the conference. The beginning of the season, she put a lot of pressure on herself. I told her that she just needs to come out here and all she needs to think about is playing the game she loves."

Sampson allowed just two hits while walking none and striking out four.

Tuscola added one more in the sixth when Setzer singled and sent sophomore Kinzie Messer across the plate.

Tuscola dominated throughout the game, outplaying their opponents on both sides of the ball.

"Our biggest strength was being aggressive in the box and being aggressive with our pitches and how we are calling things," Markos said. "We kind of know some of their players and their strengths and their weaknesses, and that helped us today. These girls are starting to mesh and become comfortable and get used to each other as a team."

The win gives Tuscola momentum as they head into Mountain 7 play, with many tough tests on the horizon, including games against Pisgah and West Henderson coming up in the next couple of weeks.