Raini Gerometta

Raini Gerometta

By Chris Brooks For the Times

LAFAYETTE -- While the Macon County High School softball team piled up hits and runs, the Tigerette pitchers kept visiting York Institute from producing any offense on April 10.

Those hurlers limited the Lady Dragons to one hit over two games as the Tigerettes followed up a 14-0, five-inning victory in the opening game with a 13-0 win -- also in five innings -- in the nightcap.

Macon County racked up 12 hits in the opener, piling up eight runs in the second inning to seize control.

Not to be outdone by the offense, Tigerette sophomore pitcher Raini Gerometta hurled her third no-hitter of the season in the first game of the doubleheader, striking out eight Lady Dragon hitters. Only a pair of errors kept her outing from being a perfect game.

"I felt better, because I got to work on my pitches," Gerometta said. "I had been struggling with my changeup, and tonight, it was working better.

Gerometta had two no-hitters in weekend tournament action (a 9-0 victory over Oneida on March 23 and an 8-1 victory against Monterey on March 31), but Tuesday's gem was her first in a game not cut short by a time limit.

Senior shortstop Keeley Clariday helped keep the no-hitter intact in the third inning, cutting off a ground ball with a diving stop near second base before stretching out and tagging the base with the ball for the final out and preventing an infield hit.

"When she first bobbled it, it's like 'oh my gosh,' and then, I saw her try as hard as she could to get the out," Gerometta said. "When she got it, I was like 'we have one of the best shortstops in the district.' But she can play anywhere."

Gerometta gave herself plenty of run support, producing two hits at the plate and driving in six runs. Senior Meagan Frye had three hits and scored three runs, while Clariday also scored three runs and collected two hits. The Tigerettes also stole seven bases as a team in the first game.

Sophomore Morgan Spivey's line drive into the right-field corner beat a shifted York Institute outfield, turning into an inside-the-park home run in the second inning.

"It was really cool," Spivey said. "It was just a fun day, and we were just all having fun out here."

Spivey raced around the bases for a second inside-the-park homer in game two, part of a six-run outburst in the fourth inning of the nightcap.

"One of those, I was on base," Gerometta said. "I turned around (at home plate), and I was like, 'there, she's still coming.' "

Spivey drove in five runs in that game, while junior Allyson Shoulders struck out nine batters and held York Institute to one hit.

Clariday had two hits, two stolen bases and two runs, while Frye drove in two runs and also scored twice. Shoulders provided three hits and three runs batted in, and freshman A.C. Powell had two hits, drove in a run and scored once.

The Lady Dragons routinely deployed a roving outfielder, playing either in shallow left or rightfield depending on the hitter, with an outfielder in left-centerfield and one in right-centerfield.

"It was a little bit different, but it opened up a lot of holes for us," Spivey said.

With games against the district's top two teams -- Upperman and DeKalb County -- still to play, Spivey said the team's chemistry will play a key role in navigating the remaining schedule.

"I think we've got the hard part -- coming together as a team -- over with," Spivey said. "We've got harder games coming up, but being as a team, I think we're together."

• Macon County's three-game winning streak ended with a 13-7 loss at Livingston Academy on April 11.

The two teams played in Lafayette six days earlier, with the Tigerettes capturing a 10-9 victory.

However, the Lady Wildcats piled up 20 hits in the rematch, scoring in five of their six turns at-bat. Livingston Academy scored four runs in both the first and sixth innings.

Macon County produced 14 hits, with Frye and freshman Abby Shoulders providing three each. Tigerette sophomore Morgan Carter and junior Rachel Ritchie had two hits each. Shoulders scored two runs, and Carter drove in two runs.

Macon County pulled to within 8-6 after scoring four runs in the fourth inning, but the Lady Wildcats scored the game's final five runs.

Gerometta started in the pitcher's circle but left after giving up four hits and recording just one out. Allyson Shoulders pitched the remainder of the contest.

• The Tigerettes dropped a district contest for the second consecutive day last Thursday, suffering a 4-2, eight-inning loss at DeKalb County.

The two teams played in Lafayette on March 22, with DeKalb County capturing a 5-4 victory.

DeKalb County won all five meetings between the two programs last season.

In Thursday's rematch, Macon County was an out away from a win, but Allison Maynard's three-run, walk-off home run gave her squad the win.

Back-to-back, one-out singles set the stage for Maynard's blast.

Abby Shoulders singled to lead off the top of the eighth, and Frye was hit by a pitch.

Carter received an intentional walk to load the bases with no outs, and Allyson Shoulders' sacrifice fly drove in Abby Shoulders with the go-ahead run.

DeKalb County outhit the visitors by a 9-8 margin, and neither team committed an error.

Both Carter and Abby Shoulders provided two hits.

Gerometta went the distance in the pitcher's circle, striking out five hitters.

The Tigerettes fell to 4-3 in District 8-AA play.

• Macon County split two games on Friday in the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association (MTSCA) Tournament, which was played at RichEllen Park in Clarksville.

Macon County rolled to a 10-1, six-inning win over Gordonsville.

The two teams played on March 26 as well, with Macon County claiming an 8-4 win.

Allyson Shoulders limited Gordonsville to four hits, issued two walks and struck out nine hitters in picking up the complete-game victory, improving her record to 6-4.

Macon County pounded out 10 hits, scoring four runs in the first inning and five in the fourth.

Clariday, Ritchie, Abby Shoulders and freshman Madilyn Goodall all had two hits, and Carter scored two runs and drove in two runs.

However, Macon County suffered a 10-5 loss to Central Magnet.

Leading 4-3, Central Magnet erupted for six runs in the top of the seventh.

Gerometta suffered the loss, falling to 8-5, as she allowed nine earned runs on 12 hits over 6 2/3 innings in the pitcher's circle.

Allyson Shoulders provided three of her squad's 13 hits, and Carter, Clariday, Abby Shoulders and sophomore Olivia Belton all had two hits. Abby Shoulders scored two runs.

The Tigerettes fell to 14-9.

The remainder of the tournament was rained out.