2012 Softball News


Lady Bucks earn 20th win before final-inning loss ends season

May 10, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks were one out away from advancing in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament before committing a pair of errors that allowed Southwest Tennessee to escape with a 4-3 win, ending the Lady Bucks 2012 softball season with a 20-28 record.

Perennial power Chattanooga State regained its spot as state champion with a 2-0 win over Walters State in the tournament championship game on Wednesday, and will compete in the National Championship tournament in St. George, Utah later this month.

The Lady Bucks opened the tournament by beating Dyersburg State 10-4 Sunday afternoon in a 'play-in' game, securing Motlow a spot in the regular tournament which got underway on Monday. The Lady Bucks lost to Volunteer State 8-0 Monday morning and fell to Southwest Tennessee Monday night.

First-year head coach Tori Raby-Gentry knew going into the season that her team might struggle at times, and she would have liked to have more victories, but her final analysis indicates the Lady Bucks surpassed expectations.

"The season did not go as well as I hoped," said Raby-Gentry. "But twenty wins for a team that was thrown together in the last minute isn't bad. This is a great group of young ladies and I'm proud of the effort they gave this season.

"All of our sophomores are continuing their education next year and that is always our top goal. Hopefully some of them will continue their softball careers if that's what they want," she added. "We wish them nothing but the best."

Raby-Gentry has already signed ten high school seniors who will be freshmen at Motlow next year and will be counted on to help return the Lady Bucks to the top of the conference standings.

Lady Bucks 10 Dyersburg State 4

Motlow wasted no time Sunday afternoon as leadoff batter Meghan Brayton opened the game with a triple and Danielle Davis singled her home. Davis then stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on Roxanne Hillman's single to give the Lady Bucks a quick 2-0 lead.

With two outs Megan Hemmingsen singled, Veronica Blackburn reached base, and Kayla Green doubled to drive home two more runs. Alissa Dickerson added an RBI single and Brayton finished off the first inning with an RBI single to give the Lady Bucks a 6-0 cushion.

Hillman (12-12) went the distance and got the win on the mound for Motlow, scattering seven hits and allowing only one earned run. Brayton and Davis each had three hits at the top of the batting order, while Green had a pair of hits and four runs batted in.

Volunteer State 8 Lady Bucks 0

The Lady Bucks only managed one hit, a Brayton single in the top of the sixth inning, against the Lady Pioneers' outstanding pitcher. Kayla Green (8-14) took the loss for Motlow, allowing seven hits and four earned runs. She faced four batters in the sixth inning before Volunteer State scored its eighth run and ended the game.

Southwest Tennessee 4 Lady Bucks 3

The Monday evening loss to the Lady Saluqis will linger with the Lady Bucks for a while as it appeared Motlow was on its way to advancing to play at least one more contest.

The Lady Bucks scored two runs with two outs in the second inning to take the lead. Alissa Dickerson slammed a two-run double, driving in Veronica Blackburn who had singled and Green who had walked.

The lead increased to 3-0 in the fourth when Dickerson again came up with a big two-out hit, driving in Blackburn who had doubled and advanced to third on a Green single. Entering the bottom of the fourth inning Hillman had allowed only one hit.

However, the Lady Saluqis plated single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, setting the stage for their seventh inning rally and victory to end the Lady Bucks' season.

Hillman pitched well enough to win, scattering eight hits and allowing only one earned run. Dickerson drove in all three runs on two hits, while Davis and Blackburn also had two hits each. Dickerson, Hillman, and Blackburn are all freshman players who will be counted on to be leaders for the 2013 Lady Bucks.


Lady Bucks cruise past Dyersburg State

May 6, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks (20-26) scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back on their way to a 10-4 victory over Dyersburg State in a 'play-in' game Sunday afternoon at the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Chattanooga.

Roxanne Hillman (12-11) went the distance and got the win on the mound for Motlow, scattering seven hits and allowing only one earned run. The Lady Bucks, the #7 seed in the tournament, will face #2 seed Volunteer State at 3 p.m. central time on Monday.

Motlow wasted no time Sunday afternoon as leadoff batter Meghan Brayton opened the game with a triple and Danielle Davis singled her home. Davis then stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on Hillman's single to give the Lady Bucks a quick 2-0 lead.

With two outs Megan Hemmingsen singled, Veronica Blackburn reached base, and Kayla Green doubled to drive home two more runs. Alissa Dickerson added an RBI single and Brayton finished off the first inning scoring with an RBI single to give Hillman more than enough cushion to get the win.

Brayton and Davis each had three hits at the top of the batting order, while Green had a pair of hits and four runs batted in.


Blackburn blast carries Lady Bucks past Roane State

April 30, 2012

Freshman second baseman Veronica Blackburn slammed a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning and classmate Roxanne Hillman pitched seven innings of three-hit softball as the Motlow Lady Bucks ended their regular season with a 4-1 victory over Roane State in Moore County last Friday.

The win propels the Lady Bucks (19-26, 5-13) into seventh place in the final Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) standings. The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament begins May 6 at Chattanooga State.

The Lady Bucks will face 10th-seed Dyersburg State in one of two 'play-in' games on Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. The first 'play-in' game features Roane State and Jackson State at 2 p.m. The two winning teams will advance to the full tournament beginning Monday, May 7.

TCCAA/Region VII Tournament Bracket

The rare single game between the Lady Bucks and the Lady Raiders was postponed to Friday by a hard rain which fell after game one back on March 31, a game won by Roane State 4-2. The game might not have been made up had it not been needed in order to properly seed both teams for the tournament.

Roane State scored its only run in the top of the first inning against Hillman (11-11) with a solo home run. The Lady Raiders managed only a fourth inning single and a sixth inning double after that. Hillman also walked two batters and struck out three.

Motlow scored all of its runs in the third inning after stranding a pair of base runners in both the first and second innings. Danielle Davis opened the third with a walk and then stole second base. After Hillman reached on an error, Shelby Webb singled home Davis with the first Motlow run to tie the score at 1-1.

With two outs Blackburn, who has been one of the Lady Bucks' hottest hitters of late, connected on her second home run in the past week to give Hillman all the runs she needed. Motlow stranded two more base runners in the fourth and fifth innings, but Hillman struck out the final two batters in the seventh to secure the victory.

Motlow had eight hits on the day, including two each by Kayla Green, Blackburn and Webb.


Hillman shutout leads Lady Bucks to weekend split

April 23, 2012

Freshman pitcher Roxanne Hillman tossed a three-hit shutout and classmate Veronica Blackburn slammed a three-run home run as the Motlow Lady Bucks shut out visiting Dyersburg State 8-0 Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at the softball complex in Moore County. The visitors won game two 14-9.

The Lady Bucks (18-24, 4-11) also split Friday's doubleheader with visiting Southwest Tennessee, winning the opener 4-1 behind Hillman before dropping the finale 5-4. Motlow closes conference play when it travels to Cleveland State on Tuesday, then closes the regular season by hosting Wallace State on April 30.

Saturday's opening game was extremely tight for the first five innings, with the Lady Bucks clinging to a 1-0 lead. That single run came in the third inning as Alissa Dickerson reached on a fielder's choice, stole second base, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on Danielle Davis' RBI single.

Hillman (10-10) made that lead stand up through six Dyersburg innings by striking out seven batters and allowing only two walks. The Lady Bucks finally broke through in the seventh inning, scoring seven runs and invoking the eight-run rule.

Davis, who went 3-4 and drove in three runs, started things off with a single. Hillman then singled and Shelby Webb reached on an error, allowing Davis to score. Heather Krantz followed with single, driving in Hillman, to give the Lady Bucks a 3-0 lead.

With two outs and Krantz at second base and Webb at third, Blackburn slammed her home run deep to left-center field to give Motlow a 6-0 lead. The Lady Bucks weren't finished though as Kayla Green doubled and Meghan Brayton walked before Davis slammed a triple, scoring both runners and ending the contest.

Game two saw Dyersburg State jump out in front with five runs in the second inning off of Motlow starting pitcher Green (8-13), only to see the Lady Bucks come back with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Blackburn added another RBI with a single, and then scored on Dickerson's single. Chelsea Hill drove home Dickerson with yet another single to cut the lead to one after three innings.

Dickerson relieved Green on the mound in the third, but the visitors showed no mercy by scoring four more runs to take a 9-4 lead after three innings.

The Lady Bucks fought back, scoring two runs in the fourth as Brayton led off with a triple and stole home while Green drove home Davis with a single.

Dyersburg State didn't let up either, scoring four more runs in the top of the fifth to put the game away. Hillman came on to pitch the final 2.1 innings, allowing only two hits and one unearned run.

Hillman was also very sharp on the mound Friday against Southwest Tennessee, allowing only four hits and one unearned run with three strikeouts in seven innings. The Motlow offense put three runs on the board in the third inning to give Hillman all the runs she needed.

Brayton doubled home Green, who had reached on an error to open the inning, then scored on a single by Davis. Webb finished off the scoring with a single to score Davis. Motlow added another run in the sixth as Morgan Hemmingsen singled and scored on a Southwest Tennessee error.

Friday's opening game saw Southwest jump on Motlow starter Green for three runs in the top of the first inning, then add another run in the third to take a 4-0 lead.

The Lady Bucks fought back though, scoring a single run the third and three more in the fifth to trail 5-4. Dickerson led off the fifth with a single and scored on Brayton's double. Davis then drove home Brayton with a single, then scored herself on a Southwest error, one of six during the game for the visiting Lady Saluqis.

Hillman suffered the loss, pitching the final four innings, allowing four hits and only one earned run. She pitched a total of 19.1 innings during the four games, allowing only 13 total hits and one earned run.


Lady Bucks to show fans appreciation Friday at softball complex

April 19, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks will celebrate Fan Appreciation Day on Friday when they welcome TCCAA rival Southwest Tennessee to the softball complex in Moore County. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Fans who attend the conference doubleheader will receive free megaphones, pom-poms, stress balls, and balloons. Some items have the college logo on them and some have the athletics logo. Admission is free to all Motlow athletic events, and a concession stand with hot dogs, popcorn, candy and soft drinks is always available.

The Lady Bucks (16-22, 2-9) are fresh off their biggest offensive output of the season, sweeping the Lindsey Wilson College JV 18-3, 8-1 in Columbia, Kentucky on Tuesday. Motlow will host TCCAA rival Dyersburg State on Saturday, Apr. 21, with the first pitch scheduled for noon.

Against the JV team from Lindsey Wilson the Lady Bucks were clicking on all cylinders, collecting 26 runs and 30 hits on the day. The highlight came in the fifth inning of game one when sophomore DH Kayla Green hit a grand slam.

Roxanne Hillman (8-9) took the mound for Motlow in the first game and allowed five hits and three earned runs in her five innings of work. Hillman also went 3-5 at the plate, scoring two runs and driving in one.

The Lady Bucks scored six runs in both the second and third innings, five in the fourth, and added their final run in the fifth.

Green was 3-4 with her home run and four RBIs, while Morgan Hemmingsen went 3-5 and drove in five runs with a three-run double in the second inning and RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings. Danielle Davis also had a big game, going 3-4 with a triple, three runs scored and three RBIs.

Game two was more of the same for Motlow. Green (8-12) continued her improvement on the mound, allowing only three hits. The lone Lindsey Wilson run was unearned, and Green didn't give up a base on balls while striking out a pair of hitters.

Lindsey Wilson scored its lone run in the first inning, thanks in part to a Motlow error. The Lady Bucks didn't get the offense cranked up until the third inning when Chelsea Hill led off with a single and Meghan Brayton doubled her home.

Motlow scored two runs in the third, four in the fourth, and two more in the fifth. Brayton, as she has been for much of the season, was the catalyst from her leadoff spot, going 3-3 with two runs and two RBIs.

Hill was 3-3 at the bottom of the batting order and scored two runs, while Green hit her second home run of the day in the fourth, a two-run shot that scored Hill, who had singled earlier in the inning.


Kayla Green tosses one-hitter as Lady Bucks shut out Gadsden State

April 16, 2012

Sophomore pitcher Kayla Green allowed only a harmless single in the fourth inning Saturday as the Motlow Lady Bucks split a doubleheader against non-conference opponent Gadsden State in Gadsden, dropping game one 5-3 before rallying behind Green to capture game two 9-0.

The Lady Bucks (14-22, 2-9) needed something positive to happen for them after suffering a sweep at the hands of 15th-ranked Volunteer State 9-0, 3-2 on Friday at the softball complex in Moore County.

Motlow will step out of TCCAA conference competition again on Tuesday when it travels to Columbia, Kentucky for a doubleheader against Lindsey Wilson College, a team it swept back on Mar. 7. The Lady Bucks return to conference play this weekend when they host Southwest Tennessee at 2 p.m. Friday.

Green (7-12) struck out three batters and allowed the hit, one walk, and hit one batter. The Lady Bucks' offense gave Green generous support from the outset, scoring two runs in the first inning, two in the second, and four in the third. The contest ended after five innings because of the eight-run rule.

Meghan Brayton and Danielle Davis led off the game with back-to-back singles and Roxanne Hillman drove home Brayton with a single for the game's first run. Davis scored on Shelby Webb's ground out to give Green a 2-0 lead after one inning.

Green reached on a two-out error in the second inning, opening the door for two more Lady Buck runs. Following an Alissa Dickerson walk, Brayton slammed a double to drive both Green and Dickerson home and give Motlow a 4-0 lead.

Shelby Webb singled to open the third, followed by a Morgan Hemmingsen base hit with one out. Green then singled in Webb and Dickerson singled home Hemmingsen and Green. Hillman's two-out single scored Dickerson to increase the lead to 8-0 and close the scoring in the third inning.

The final run came in the fifth when Davis was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and scored on yet another Gadsden State error.

Gadsden's game one win came against Roxanne Hillman (7-9), who allowed seven hits and four earned runs in six innings of work. Motlow trailed 5-1 entering the seventh inning and rallied to score two runs, but the drive ended with the potential tying run at the plate.

Friday the Lady Bucks battled nationally-ranked Volunteer State hard in both games, only to come up short in both. Despite 17 strikeouts by the Lady Pioneers' pitcher in game one, the Lady Bucks were in the game until the final inning when they committed three errors and allowed five runs to score. Hillman was solid on the mound, allowing only seven hits and three earned runs.

Game two was a battle to the very end with Motlow scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull within a run, only to leave the tying run stranded in a 3-2 loss. Volunteer scored all its runs in the second inning, again receiving help from a Lady Bucks' error.

Green pitched another solid game, allowing only three hits and two earned runs in her seven innings of work. Motlow also had only three hits, one each by Brayton, Davis, and Green.


Hillman tosses no-hitter as Lady Bucks earn sweep

April 12, 2012

Freshman Roxanne Hillman pitched the first no-hitter of her short college career, and the first for the Lady Bucks this season, leading Motlow to an 8-0, 3-0 sweep of visiting Tennessee Wesleyan on Wednesday at the softball complex in Moore County.

Motlow (13-19) was in need of a positive outing following its previous doubleheader, an 11-0, 10-0 sweep at the hands of No. 1 ranked Chattanooga State at the softball complex on Tuesday. The Lady Bucks got what they needed behind Hillman and game two starter Kayla Green.

Photo by Jeff Reed Photography
Freshman Roxanne Hillman tossed the first no-hitter of her college career.
Photo by Jeff Reed Photography
Hillman (7-7) was just one walk and one hit batter away from a perfect game as she struck out four Tennessee Wesleyan batters on a cool, crisp afternoon in Lynchburg. The visitors only got one runner to second base as Motlow invoked the eight-run rule in the fifth inning with one out.

The Lady Bucks gave Hillman the cushion she needed early, scoring two runs in the first inning and five more in the second. Meghan Brayton stole home to score the first run after opening the game with a single and stealing second base.

Brayton, Danielle Davis and Hillman ignited the offense at the top of the batting order, with Brayton going 2-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs and Davis going 2-3, including a triple, with two runs and three RBIs. Hillman also had two hits and drove in a run.

Morgan Hemmingsen added a pair of singles and scored a run, while Shelby Webb and Alissa Dickerson added RBIs.

Green (6-11) scattered five hits in game two as the Lady Bucks captured their first shutout sweep of the season. Green also struck out four batters in her seven innings of work, and despite two Motlow errors, the Lady Bucks were able to shut down every potential Wesleyan rally.

Motlow was not as efficient offensively during game two, especially in the first inning when Davis tripled with one out but was stranded at third base. The Lady Bucks also stranded two runners in the third inning after Brayton reached on an error and Green singled.

In the fourth the Lady Bucks finally pushed through on the scoreboard. Heather Krantz led off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball. Hemmingsen then drove Krantz in with a single to give Motlow the lead 1-0.

Chelsea Hill led off the fifth for the Lady Bucks with a single and scored on Brayton's double to increase Motlow's lead to 2-0, although the rally was cut short as Brayton was thrown out at third trying to stretch her double into a triple.

The scoring ended in the sixth as Webb, who has emerged as Motlow's premier power hitter in recent weeks, led off the inning with a solo home run, her third of the season.

Motlow steps back into TCCAA conference play when it hosts Volunteer State at 2 p.m. Friday at the softball complex in Moore County. The Lady Pioneers are 32-4 on the season and ranked 15th in the nation.

Lady Bucks set to host nation's top-ranked team

April 9, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks will face the nation's top-ranked National Junior College Athletic Association softball team when they host TCCAA rival Chattanooga State at the Moore County softball complex on Tuesday. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST.

Motlow (11-17, 2-5) has dropped five consecutive contests and is coming off a pair of 8-0 losses to nationally-ranked Wallace State last Thursday in Fyffe, Ala.

Chattanooga State is 43-3 on the season and has won 19 consecutive games. The Lady Tigers are undefeated in conference play.

Roxanne Hillman (6-6) suffered the loss on the mound for Motlow in game one against Wallace State, allowing seven hits and five earned runs. The Lady Bucks managed only two hits, one by Meghan Brayton and one by Shelby Webb.

The Lady Bucks committed three errors in game two and only managed one hit, a fourth inning single by Danielle Davis. Kayla Green (5-10) took the loss on the mound, allowing six hits but only three earned runs.


Lady Bucks face two of nation's top teams in Wallace, Chattanooga State

April 4, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks will face two of the nation's top teams during the next week when they travel to Fyffe, Ala. to battle 24th-ranked Wallace State on Thursday and then host No. 1 Chattanooga State on Tuesday at the softball complex in Moore County.

The Lady Bucks (11-15, 2-5) will need to regroup quickly from their 10-0, 5-1 sweep at the hands of John C. Calhoun Community College on Tuesday, Apr. 3 as they prepare to face the two powerhouse programs.

Motlow and non-conference opponent Wallace State (27-7) have already had two scheduled doubleheaders postponed this season and are scheduled to play at Motlow on Apr. 30 in the final regular season game of the year. Thursday's game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start in Fyffe.

Tuesday is the only scheduled twinbill against the Lady Tigers from Chattanooga (39-3, 8-0), who lead the TCCAA standings and have beaten a number of other highly-ranked teams this season. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Lady Bucks never got on track Tuesday at home against non-conference Calhoun (21-14). Starting pitcher Roxanne Hillman (6-5) held the visitors scoreless in game one until the third inning when they plated three runs. Calhoun added two more runs in the fourth and five in the fifth to activate the 10-run rule and end the game.

Motlow's offense was quiet all day, but especially in game one when the Lady Bucks managed only five hits. They did have opportunities to score, stranding two runners in both the third and fourth innings. Meghan Brayton had two of Motlow's hits.

Kayla Green (5-9) took the loss on the mound for Motlow in game two, although she only allowed seven hits and two earned runs while striking out three and not allowing a walk. Motlow out-hit the visitors 8-7 but could never sustain a rally.

The Lady Bucks jumped out front 1-0 in the third inning when Heather Krantz walked, Danielle Davis singled and Shelby Webb singled to drive in Krantz. Once again though, the home team was unable to get the big hit when they needed it and stranded two runners.

Calhoun scored three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth. Motlow threatened in the sixth with two outs as Green and Alissa Dickerson put together back-to-back singles, but again the potential rally ended without producing runs.


Lady Bucks Sweep Gadsden State

April 2, 2012

Starting pitchers Roxanne Hillman (6-4) and Kayla Green (4-8) combined to allow only nine hits and one run as the Motlow Lady Bucks swept Gadsden State 3-0, 3-1 Thursday in a non-conference doubleheader played at the softball field in Moore County.

The Lady Bucks (11-13, 2-5) then dropped a 4-2 decision to TCCAA rival Roane State at home on Saturday. Game two of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed due to rain and no makeup date has been announced. Motlow hosts John C. Calhoun on Tuesday, Apr. 3, for a 2 p.m. doubleheader.

Hillman gave up only three hits and struck out a pair of batters in tossing the first shutout of her Motlow career in game one against Gadsden. She got offensive support early as the Lady Bucks scored two runs in the first inning and added an insurance run in the sixth.

Meghan Brayton led off game one with a double for the Lady Bucks, followed by Danielle Davis drawing a base on balls. After Hillman moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice, Shelby Webb reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Brayton and moving Davis to third base.

Heather Krantz then singled in Davis to give the Lady Bucks and Hillman all the runs they would need. Veronica Blackburn singled in Rebecca Rubalcaba in the sixth for Motlow's final run.

In game two the Motlow offense again gave its pitcher, this time Green, an early lead by scoring a run in the first inning. Brayton was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Davis walked and Green singled, Webb drove in Brayton with a single, but the Lady Bucks stranded three runners.

Motlow added a run in the fourth as Blackburn singled, advanced to second and third on ground ball outs, and scored on a wild pitch to give Green the lead for good. Gadsden finally scored its first run of the day in the sixth inning, but Morgan Hemmingsen walked and eventually scored on Chelsea Hill's double to give Green an insurance run and end the scoring.

On Saturday against Roane State the Lady Bucks took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Brayton reached on an error and moved to second on Davis' sacrifice. Webb then slammed a double to bring Brayton home.

Hillman was solid on the mound in her three innings, despite Roane scoring four runs in the third as three of those runs were unearned due to two Motlow errors. Alissa Dickerson replaced Hillman to start the fourth and didn't allow a hit the rest of the way.

The Lady Bucks cut the lead in the bottom of the sixth as Davis led off with a single and stole second base. Dickerson's single moved Davis to third and Webb drove her in with a sacrifice fly. Dickerson however was stranded at second base.

Veronica Blackburn led off the seventh with a walk to bring the tying run to the plate, but the Motlow offense was unable to sustain the rally.


Lady Bucks look towards weekend home stand

March 28, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks didn't have an especially good day Tuesday in Morristown, dropping a pair of contests to TCCAA rival Walters State. Fortunately they don't have time to dwell on it since Motlow will host softball doubleheaders on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Motlow (9-12, 2-4) ran into a pair of Lady Senators' pitchers who were at the top of their game on Tuesday as Walters State (24-2, 2-0) cruised to an 11-1, 6-0 sweep. The Lady Bucks only had three hits in 12 total innings of play, with all three coming in game one including a leadoff home run from Meghan Brayton, her second of the season.

Gadsden State visits the softball complex on Thursday, with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. The Lady Bucks dropped a close 7-6 contest to Gadsden back on Mar. 4 at the Wallace State Tournament in Hanceville, Ala.

Friday brings Hiwassee College to the Moore County campus for a noon doubleheader start. The games were originally scheduled for Mar. 16 but were cancelled due to wet field conditions. Both Gadsden State and Hiwassee are non-conference opponents.

Motlow will return to conference play on Saturday when the Roane State Lady Raiders visit for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Roane State is 11-16 overall and winless in conference play, and this will be the only meeting of the season between the two schools.

After Morgan Hemmingsen's second inning single and Danielle Davis' third inning single in game one in Morristown, the Lady Bucks' offense was shut down by Walters' pitchers Haley Taylor (13-0) and Kelsey Weddle (10-1). Weddle tossed a no-hitter in game two, with the only blemishes on the stat sheet being two hit batters.

Roxanne Hillman (5-3) took the loss in game one for Motlow, with Alissa Dickerson pitching the final inning without allowing a hit. Kayla Green (4-8) pitched game two for the Lady Bucks, with all six runs being earned.


Pitching Sparkles as Lady Bucks Sweep Jackson State

March 26, 2012

Starting pitchers Roxanne Hillman and Kayla Green combined to allow only five hits in 14 innings of softball Saturday as the Motlow Lady Bucks swept the Jackson State Lady Generals 4-2, 2-1 in Jackson.

The TCCAA conference sweep came just in time to help ease the sting of the previous day's results, a 9-1, 8-7 sweep at the hands of conference rival Columbia State in Columbia. The Lady Bucks will travel to Morristown to face nationally-ranked Walters State on Tuesday.

Saturday in Jackson the Lady Bucks (9-10, 2-2) not only enjoyed the benefits of outstanding pitching, but also got key hits when they needed them in sweeping the Lady Generals (3-11, 0-4).

Hillman (5-2) was outstanding in game one, allowing only three hits and one earned run while striking out five in her seven innings. She also slammed a double in the seventh inning and scored a key insurance run for her team.

Jackson State scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning to take a quick lead, which they held until the top of the fifth inning. Chelsea Hill and Meghan Brayton opened the fifth with back-to-back singles. With two outs Shelby Webb singled to drive both runners in and give the Lady Bucks a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the seventh Hillman led off with her double. Webb then stepped to the plate and slammed a two-run home run, her second of the season, to cap the Lady Bucks' scoring. Jackson scored once in the bottom of the seventh, but Hillman struck out the final batter to end the threat.

Game two again saw the home team take an early lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Motlow tied the score in the fifth though as Heather Krantz led off with a double, advanced to third on a Morgan Hemmingsen sacrifice, and scored on an error by Jackson State's pitcher.

Webb singled to lead off the top of the seventh inning, but pinch-runner Rebecca Rubalcaba was thrown out trying to steal second base. With two outs, Hemmingsen reached on an error, moved to second on Veronica Blackburn's single, and scored on Hill's game-winning base hit.

Green (4-7) allowed only two hits and struck out four in her seven innings of work on the mound for Motlow. She also struck out the final batter she faced to complete the sweep.

Friday's opener in Columbia saw the Lady Bucks score in the top of the first inning as Webb singled in Hillman after a double by Blackburn. From there it was all Columbia State though as the Lady Chargers (20-6, 4-0) got 10 hits off Hillman.

In game two the Lady Bucks and Lady Chargers treated fans in Columbia to an epic back-and-forth contest that wasn't decided until the final batter stepped to the plate.

The home team jumped out front 2-0 in the bottom of the first off Motlow starter Green, who went four innings and allowed seven hits and six earned runs.

Hemmingsen led off the third inning with a single for Motlow. With two outs Brayton singled, driving in Hemmingsen. Brayton stole second base, Danielle Davis reached on an error, and both scored on a single by Green to give Motlow a 3-2 lead.

Columbia came right back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 6-3 lead. The Lady Bucks inched closer with a run in the fifth as Brayton, Davis, and Green put together consecutive singles to score Brayton to pull Motlow within 6-4.

The score remained 6-4 until the top of the seventh inning. Brayton led off with a single and Davis reached on an error. Alissa Dickerson (0-1), who had entered the game as a pitcher in the fifth inning, then slammed what appeared to be a game-winning three run homer to give Motlow a 7-6 lead.

However, the home team provided the final heroics as they got the leadoff runner on and then hit a game-winning two-run homer with one out to complete their sweep.


Lady Bucks Sweep Cleveland State

March 22, 2012

Danielle Davis raced home from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning to score the winning run in the second game as the Motlow Lady Bucks swept the visiting Cleveland State Lady Cougars 7-2, 2-1 Wednesday afternoon at the softball complex in Moore County.

Although both teams are members of the TCCAA conference, the games do not count in the conference standings. The Lady Bucks (7-8, 0-0) will open conference play this weekend when they travel to Columbia State on Friday and Jackson State on Saturday.

Pitching dominated the warm, sunny afternoon where a large, vocal crowd gathered to enjoy the competition. They were not disappointed as the Lady Bucks continued their improvement under new head coach Tori Raby-Gentry.

Game one saw Motlow hurler Roxanne Hillman improve her record to 4-1 on the season as she scattered six hits and allowed only one earned run to lower her season earned run average to 2.43. Hillman struck out three Cleveland batters and didn't allow a base on balls.

The Lady Bucks opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when Shelby Webb was hit by a pitch with one out. Heather Krantz then singled, followed by an RBI single from Kayla Green that scored Webb.

Chelsea Hill then grounded out to first, scoring Krantz who had advanced to third on Green's single. After two innings the Lady Bucks led 2-0 and Hillman was settling into a steady groove on the mound.

The Lady Bucks added four more runs to their lead in the fourth inning as once again Webb got things started; this time by reaching on a throwing error by the Cleveland State shortstop. Krantz reached on a fielder's choice, then advanced to second on Green's single. After Hill was hit by a pitch, Motlow had the bases loaded with one out.

Krantz scored on a passed ball and then Green scored on Morgan Hemmingsen's RBI single. Meghan Brayton followed with another single, scoring Hill. The final run came as Hemmingsen advanced to third on Hillman's single and scored on a passed ball.

After the Lady Cougars scored their two runs in the top of the sixth inning, the Lady Bucks added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning as Hemmingsen singled, advanced to second on a fielder's choice, moved to third on Davis' single, and scored as Hillman reached on another fielder's choice.

Davis, Green, and Hemmingsen each had two hits, while Hillman drove in a pair of runs. Krantz and Hemmingsen each scored two runs for the Lady Bucks.

Game two didn't feature much offense, but was highlighted by Green's outstanding pitching performance and the dramatic finish.

Green (3-7) went the full eight innings, scattering only five hits and not allowing a single earned run. She struck out three and walked three, and lowered her season earned run average to 3.21.

The Lady Bucks scored in the bottom of the first inning as Davis singled with one out, moved to second on Green's single, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on yet another wild pitch.

The lead didn't last long as the visitors came right back and tied the score in the top of the third inning without the benefit of a hit. They used a walk and an error to plate their run, and the score remained tied through seven innings of regulation.

In the top of the eighth Green continued her strong pitching, keeping the Lady Cougars off the scoreboard and giving the Lady Bucks an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the inning. Davis did her thing, getting on base because of an error, advancing on a sacrifice by Green, and finally scoring on the wild pitch to seal the sweep.

Following the conference doubleheaders at Columbia State and Jackson State this weekend, the Lady Bucks will return to Moore County to host national-power Wallace State on Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.


Krantz powers Lady Bucks past Snead

March 19, 2012

Heather Krantz gave her team the lead with a two-run homer in the second inning and added a solo shot to lead off the fourth as the Motlow Lady Bucks beat Snead State 6-1 in the opening game of a doubleheader at the softball complex in Moore County on Saturday. The visitors won the second game 5-1.

Motlow (5-8, 0-0) will host Cleveland State in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and then travel to Columbia State and Jackson State this weekend to open TCCAA play.

Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry was impressed with her team's performance in game one and equally unimpressed with its game-two showing.

"We came out swinging the bats and took care of our business on defense in game one," said Raby-Gentry. "We were selective at the plate and that paid off."

Roxanne Hillman (3-1) continued to shine on the pitcher's mound for Motlow, scattering six hits in her seven innings of work in lowering her earned run average to 2.64. The only run she allowed came in the third inning and was the result of a hit batter and two wild pitches.

Krantz drove in Veronica Blackburn, who had singled, with her first home run with one out in the second inning. After Snead State scored in the third, the Lady Bucks answered when Meghan Brayton singled to lead off the bottom of the inning, stole second base, and scored on Hillman's single.

The Lady Bucks increased their lead to 4-1 in the fourth with Krantz' leadoff home run, then added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth when Brayton slammed a two-run homer, scoring Morgan Hemmingsen who had singled with one out.

Brayton was 3-4 with a double and a home run and drove in two runs, while Krantz was 2-3 with three runs batted in. Kayla Green also had a pair of hits for the Lady Bucks in game one.

Game two was a reversal of fortune for both teams, and although they were both scoreless entering the fourth inning, it was Snead who cranked up the offense first.

Kayla Green (2-7) allowed eight hits and struck out five batters in her seven innings of work. Motlow's offense managed only five hits, including two by catcher Shelby Webb with one of her hits a fourth-inning home run, her first of the season.

"The second game we just seemed to lose our focus," added Raby-Gentry. "We did enough defensively to keep us in the game, but we watched the good pitches go by and chased the bad ones. We aren't going to win many games with that approach."

Brayton, Krantz, and Chelsea Hill had hits for the Lady Bucks in game two. Snead State slammed a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning for the final 5-1 margin.


Lady Bucks Split With Calhoun

March 15, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks will return to their home field for just the second time this season when they host Hiwassee College on Friday in a doubleheader scheduled to begin a 2 p.m. at the softball complex on the Moore County campus.

The Lady Bucks (4-7, 0-0) earned a split with John C. Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Ala. on Tuesday, winning the opener 4-1 before dropping game two 7-2.

Sophomore Heather Krantz got the Lady Bucks started against Calhoun in the opener by driving in two runs in the first inning with a single, scoring both Meghan Brayton and Veronica Blackburn. Brayton had singled to open the game and stolen second base. Blackburn was then hit by a pitch and Krantz drove them both home.

Roxanne Hillman (2-1) went the distance on the mound for the Lady Bucks, scattering four hits in her seven innings of work. Calhoun's lone run, which was unearned, came in the bottom of the third inning and cut the Lady Bucks' lead to 2-1.

In the fourth inning Krantz slammed a triple and scored on an RBI by Kayla Green, who drove in a pair of runs on the day.

The Lady Bucks added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Shelby Webb singled, Rebecca Rubalcaba pinch ran and stole second, then advanced to third on a Krantz ground out, and scored on a Green sacrifice.

Game two saw the home team score twice in the bottom of the first inning and add another run in the third to lead 3-0. Motlow's Danielle Davis drove in Megan Norris with a single in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 3-1.

Calhoun added three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to lead 7-1. Brayton doubled in the seventh and scored on an RBI single by Blackburn, but the home team shut down the rally and gained the split.

Green (2-6) took the loss on the mound for Motlow, allowing Calhoun eight hits.

Blackburn leads the Lady Bucks with 12 runs batted in, while Brayton has scored 13 runs and leads the team with 14 hits.


Lady Bucks earn Softball sweep

March 8, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks doubled their win total on the season and gained some much-needed confidence as they swept visiting Lindsey Wilson College 9-1, 9-1 on Wednesday, Mar. 8 at the softball complex on the Moore County campus.

The Lady Bucks (3-6) were scheduled to host Wallace State (21-5) on Thursday, Mar. 8 but inclement weather forced postponement of the doubleheader. No makeup date has yet been announced.

Motlow led game one 2-1 after the first inning on Wednesday and didn't trail again, scoring two more runs in the second, single runs in the third and fourth, and three runs in the fifth inning.

Roxanne Hillman (1-1) got the win on the mound for Motlow, striking out eight visiting batters and allowing only one hit. The run Lindsey Wilson scored was unearned, and came after a leadoff walk and two passed balls.

Meghan Brayton had three hits and got the offense started early, leading off the bottom of the first with a single and a stolen base. She scored, along with Danielle Davis, on a wild throw by the Lindsey Wilson catcher on a double-steal attempt.

Brayton ended the game with three hits and two stolen bases. Veronica Blackburn added a solo home run in the third inning, her first of the season, while her 11 RBIs on the season lead the team.

Game two saw Kayla Green (2-5) get the win on the mound for Motlow while scattering four hits, with the only Lindsey Wilson run being unearned. The Lady Bucks led by a 3-1 score before plating six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game away.

Morgan Hemmingsen had three hits, including two triples, and drove in two runs while Shelby Webb had a pair of hits and also drove in two runs.


Lady Bucks host home opener after first Softball Win

March 5, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks captured their first win of the young season and the initial victory of new head coach Tori Raby-Gentry's Motlow coaching career when they beat Southern Union 7-4 on Saturday at the Wallace State Invitational Tournament in Hanceville, Alabama.

The Lady Bucks will host Lindsey Wilson College on Wednesday, Mar. 7 in their home opener at the softball complex in Moore County. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. Motlow will host nationally-ranked Wallace State on Thursday with the first pitch also scheduled for 1 p.m.

The tournament was scheduled to get underway on Friday but was postponed a day as severe storms swept through the area. Motlow played two more games on Saturday and two on Sunday, suffering one-run losses in three of the four contests.

Following Saturday's win over Southern Union, the Lady Bucks fell to Shelton State 3-2 and Indian Hills 5-4, with the second game lasting eight innings as the Lady Bucks refused to fall easily. College softball games are seven-inning contests in regulation.

Sunday's first game was similar to the previous two contests as the young Lady Bucks fought extremely hard before falling 7-6 to Gadsden State, once again in eight innings. Motlow finished the tournament with a disappointing 16-5 loss to Snead State.


Motlow Softball Opens New Era under Tori Raby-Gentry

February 13, 2012

Tori Raby-Gentry has been on the job since last summer preparing the Motlow Lady Bucks for her first season as head coach. She has recruited well, practiced hard, and spread the word that the program will continue to compete for championships.

Motlow College Photo
Motlow softball is now led by two former Lady Bucks, assistant coach Amy Taylor Higgins (left) played for Motlow in 2001-02, while head coach Tori Raby-Gentry was a Lady Buck in 1996-97.
As opening day quickly approaches she is ready to see how her first Motlow team performs. The wait is almost over.

Working Hard to Get Ready

"I am looking forward to this first year back at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) level and in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA)", said Raby-Gentry. "The girls have been working hard in the off-season in the weight room getting stronger. They are a hardworking group of ladies."

The Lady Bucks open the 2012 season when they travel to Boaz, Ala. to face Snead State on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The first home game is Mar. 7, with Lindsey Wilson College visiting for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

Raby-Gentry spent the past seven seasons as head coach at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, where she was not only the most successful softball coach in school history, but also the most successful coach in any sport in school history.

Jeff Reed Photography
Sophomore Meghan Brayton from Tullahoma is the leading returning hitter for the Lady Bucks.
Her record during those seven seasons was 202-154. Her teams captured four conference titles, two regional titles, and appeared in three national tournaments. The opportunity to return to southern middle Tennessee was one she couldn't pass up and Motlow is the beneficiary of having a proven winner as its fifth softball coach since the sport began in 1993.

She is very familiar with the TCCAA. She played at Motlow in the mid-1990s and was a voluntary assistant on former head coach Gary Barfield's staff following her time as a player. The challenge of continued success for a program that won the conference championship three years ago is one she readily accepts.

"It's great to be back close to home," she added. "I really enjoyed my time in Virginia but this area is home to me. Recruiting is going well for next year's signing class and I'm excited to get started with this season and find out where we are as a program."

Familiar Assistant Coach

Raby-Gentry invited another familiar face back to the Motlow campus to be her assistant. Amy Taylor Higgins played for the Lady Bucks in 2001-2002 and is listed in multiple school single-season and career pitching records. Charlie Liggett will continue in his role as an assistant to Raby-Gentry as well, a role he held for Barfield's entire 14-year stint as head coach.

Photo by Jeff Reed Photography
Sophomore Danielle Davis led the Lady Bucks with 13 stolen bases in 2011.
The Lady Bucks are coming off a 30-10 season in 2011 and find themselves in the position of having to find replacements for most of the major contributors from last season. Raby-Gentry is confident that her returning sophomores, transfers and incoming freshmen are up to the challenge.

"We are young, but the maturity is coming and the more games we play the better we will be," she continued. "We have a strong core of talent and we learned a lot during the fall. We have continued to work hard during the preseason and I expect us to be playing well when the season opens."

Returning Sophomores

Four returning sophomores will be counted on to provide leadership in 2012, including Tullahoma alumnus Meghan Brayton, Clarksville Northwest alumnus Morgan Hemmingsen, and a pair of Sycamore High School alumni - Heather Krantz and Danielle Davis.

Brayton is the top returning hitter from last season, when she batted .277 with 23 hits, two home runs, and 17 runs batted in. Krantz hit .236 and scored 18 runs with seven stolen bases. Davis led the Lady Bucks in stolen bases with 13, batted .260, and scored 21 runs with 19 hits.

Hemmingsen was limited due to a hand injury in 2011, but has been one of the Lady Bucks' most consistent players during the fall season and preseason. Raby-Gentry feels she will be one of the team leaders as the 2012 season unfolds.

Photo by Jeff Reed Photography
Sophomore Heather Krantz scored 18 runs and stole seven bases last season.
Redshirt freshmen and sophomore transfers include Alissa Dickerson from Altamont and Kayla Green from Nolensville.

Freshman Class

Incoming freshmen who will be counted on to contribute immediately includes a pair of Virginia high school stars - Roxanne Hillman from Clintwood and Chelsea Hill from Ervinton. Joining them in the freshman class are Rebecca Rubalcaba from Cascade, Amy Perry from Lynchburg, Megan Norris from Altamont, Shelby Webb from Ashland City, and Veronica Blackburn from Manchester.

The Lady Bucks play their home games at the softball complex on the main Motlow campus in Moore County. All games are free to the public and a fully-stocked concession stand is open at all contests.

The regular season ends on April 24 when the Lady Bucks travel to Cleveland State for a doubleheader. The TCCAA tournament will be held in Chattanooga beginning May 7. The winner of the tournament advances to the National Tournament in St. George, Utah beginning May 17.

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Lady Bucks Release 2012 Softball Schedule

February 2, 2012

The Motlow Lady Bucks have released their 2012 softball schedule as they prepare to begin their initial season under new head coach Tori Raby-Gentry.

2012 Softball Schedule

The season opens on Feb. 29 with a trip to Boaz, Alabama to face Snead State. On Mar. 2 and Mar. 3 Motlow will be in Hanceville, Alabama to participate in the Wallace State Tournament. The tournament consistently features some of the nation's top teams, including the hosts who enter the season ranked 14th in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

The Lady Bucks will play their first home contest on Wednesday, Mar. 7 when they host Lindsey Wilson College for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at the softball complex on the main Motlow campus in Moore County. Wallace State visits the following day.

Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) play begins on Mar. 23 with a six-game road trip, including stops at Columbia State on the 23rd, Jackson State on Mar. 24, and Walters State in Morristown on Mar. 27. The first home conference game is Mar. 31 when Roane State visits.

All scheduled play dates are doubleheaders and all home games are scheduled to begin at either 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. Defending state champion Volunteer State will visit the softball complex on Apr. 13, while perennial powerhouse Chattanooga State, ranked 11th in the preseason national poll, comes to Lynchburg Apr. 10.

The Lady Bucks are ranked fourth in the state in the NJCAA preseason rankings behind Chattanooga State, Walters State, and Cleveland State. Admission is free to all Motlow College athletic events, and a concession stand will be open for all home games.


Lady Bucks release 2013 softball recruiting class

Photo Provided

East Robertson High School senior softball player Brienna Buckman has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Brienna for the ceremony, seated from left: dad Wayne Buckman, Brienna, and mom Tina Buckman. Standing: ERHS assistant Danny Casteel, ERHS head coach Kevin Evans, Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry, and ERHS pitching coach Darrell Givens.



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Photo Provided

Hazel Green, Alabama High School senior softball player Holli Byers has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Holli for the ceremony, from left: Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry, Holli, and mom Lisa Byars.



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Photo provided

Cornersville High School senior softball player Makenzie Hopkins has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Makenzie for the ceremony, seated from left: mom Heather Hopkins, Makenzie, Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry, and father Timmy Hopkins. Standing: Cornersville head coach Spencer Mitchell, sister Madison Hopkins, and Cornersville assistant coach Tres Beasley.



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Photo provided

Tullahoma High School senior softball player Hannah Sircy has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Hannah for the ceremony, seated from left: her father Greg Sircy, Hannah, and mother Maria Sircy. Standing: Tullahoma head coach David Cardwell, Tullahoma athletic director Jerry Mathis, and Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry. Photo provided.



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Photo provided

Warren County High School senior softball player Gabi Keith has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Gabi for the ceremony, seated from left: her grandmother Anita Hobbs, mother Stephanie Keith, Gabi, dad Mark Keith, and brother Dylan Keith. Standing: Warren County coach David Upton and Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry. Photo provided.



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Photo provided

North Sand Mountain High School in Flat Rock, Alabama senior softball player Mindy Jo Britt has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Mindy for the ceremony, seated from left: grandmother Betty Jo Johnson, mother Ramona Britt, Mindy Jo, and dad Keith Britt. Standing: NSM principal Chris Davis, Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry, brother Ben Britt, NSM head coach Ashley Wilks, NSM assistant coach Perry Wilks, and NSM assistant principal Kerry Wright. Photo provided.



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Photo provided

Coffee County Central High School senior Tori Taylor has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Tori for the ceremony, seated from left: dad Andrew Taylor, Tori, and mother Michelle Taylor. Standing: travel-ball coach Erin Stubblefield, travel-ball coach Jeff Breeden, and Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry. Photo provided.



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Photo provided

Warren County High School softball senior Taylor Grissom has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Taylor for the ceremony, seated from left: mother Wendy Grissom, Taylor, and dad Joe Grissom. Standing: Warren County coach David Upton and Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry. Photo provided.



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Photo provided

Marion County High School softball senior Keli Bruning has committed to continue her education and athletic career at Motlow College. Joining Keli for the ceremony, seated from left: Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry, Keli, and mother Misty Bruning. Standing: travel-ball coach Charles Williams, MCHS head coach Larry Richards, MCHS vice-principal Larry Ziegler, and dad Mark Bruning. Photo provided.


Lady Bucks Sign Top Pitching Prospect

Photo provided
Roxanne Hillman signs her intent to join the Lady Bucks as parents Canella and Terry look on.

Motlow Lady Bucks head softball coach Tori Raby-Gentry has added a key ingredient to her first recruiting class, announcing that pitcher Roxanne Hillman will continue her athletic and academic career at Motlow College.

Hillman comes to Lynchburg from Clintwood, Virginia, where she was named the Pitcher of the Year in the Lonesome Pine District in 2011, and received all-district honors in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

" Roxanne is a very hard worker," said Raby-Gentry. "She has good speed and good movement on her pitches. She will be expected to come in and compete immediately for time on the mound."

The right-hander, who also plays in the infield, brings outstanding numbers to the Lady Bucks' lineup. She won 12 games in 2011, with 156 strikeouts and a 1.35 earned run average, while only losing five decisions.

" Roxanne is such a fine hitter that she may also see time on the field when she is not pitching," added Raby-Gentry. "She is definitely a solid addition to our softball program."

Hillman also put up impressive numbers at the plate during her high school senior season, finishing with a .477 batting average, two home runs, 20 runs scored, and 25 runs batted in.


Veronica Blackburn Joins Lady Bucks

Veronica Blackburn
Left to right; Coffee County head coach Terry Floyd, Dewana Blackburn and daughter Veronica, and Motlow head coach Tori Raby-Gentry
New Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry has added one of middle Tennessee's top players to the 2012 softball roster, as Coffee County infielder Veronica Blackburn has signed to continue her career with Motlow College.

Blackburn played third base for the Lady Raiders and helped lead them to the District 6-AAA title and within one win of a berth in the TSSAA state softball tournament. She was the district Offensive Player of the Year and was voted to the All-Midstate second team.

"Veronica will fit nicely in our defense at either third base or shortstop," said Raby-Gentry. "She has a solid glove and a strong arm. Offensively she will be a great addition to our lineup."

On the offensive side, Blackburn was a key ingredient for the Lady Raiders in 2011, batting .434 with five home runs, nine doubles, 25 runs batted in, and 31 runs scored. In addition, she had a .660 slugging percentage and a .520 on-base percentage.

"I am very excited to get a local player of this caliber this late in the summer," continued Raby-Gentry. "Veronica is going to be a great fit at Motlow both athletically and academically."

Additional post-season honors for Blackburn included invitations to play in both the Middle Tennessee All-Star game and the Kentucky/Tennessee All-Star game. She was also named to the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association All-Academic team.

Shelby Webb First Signee for Raby-Gentry and Lady Bucks

Shelby Webb
Seated left to right, Shawn and Amy Webb and daughter Shelby. Standing from left, Sycamore head coach Mike Burke, Motlow head coach Tori Raby-Gentry, and Sycamore assistant Ricky Watts.
A new era of Motlow Lady Bucks softball is officially underway with the announcement that new head coach Tori Raby-Gentry has signed her first recruit - Shelby Webb, a catcher from Sycamore High School in Ashland City, Tennessee.

Webb will join a pair of former Sycamore teammates on the 2012 Lady Bucks roster – Danielle Davis and Heather Krantz. In fact, it was Davis, a relative of Webb’s, who helped connect Raby-Gentry and Webb.

“Danielle mentioned Shelby, and I saw her at the all-star game,” said Raby-Gentry. “She is really solid behind the plate and has a pretty good bat as well. Shelby is a solid player and will help us next year.”

Webb hit .346 for Sycamore in 2011, with three home runs and 16 runs batted in. She can play third base and second base as well as catcher, and Raby-Gentry is leaving her options open as far as how she might use Webb in the Lady Bucks lineup.

“Shelby works really hard and that is what I like to see,” added Raby-Gentry. “I expect her to compete for a starting position at either catcher or perhaps on the corner.”

There would appear to be significant opportunities for playing time for any freshmen that Raby-Gentry can sign during her initial season.

“We are a work in progress with only five players returning from the 2011 squad,” continued the coach. “We probably have room to sign about eight more players, so there are opportunities for playing time at Motlow.”

Tori Raby-Gentry to Lead Lady Bucks in Softball

Motlow softball coach Tori Raby-GentryTori Raby-Gentry has been named the new head coach for the Motlow Lady Bucks fast pitch softball team according to Athletic Director Jerry Nichols. Raby-Gentry played for Motlow for two years after her graduation from Lincoln County High School in 1995. In her freshman year she made first team, all-state in 1996 and had a 1.68 earned run average as a pitcher; which is currently 14th all-time.

She went on to play at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens where she made All-Region both years and as a senior was named Player of the Year for the Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference (TVAC) which is now the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC.) Raby-Gentry earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and returned home to complete her master’s at Middle Tennessee State University. While doing so she volunteered her time to work with the pitching staff at Motlow under Coach Barfield.

Coach Raby-Gentry’s career began at St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky. While there just one year, she coached the first winning season recorded for the school. After a stop at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. as a Division II pitching coach, she became head softball coach at University of Virginia’s College at Wise. During her first year, the team made it to the national tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

Raby-Gentry returns to Motlow after being the winningest coach in UVA-Wise history, compiling a record of 202-154 in her seven seasons. During her tenure, UVA-Wise captured four conference titles, two regional titles, and appeared in three national tournaments.

The daughter of Max Raby of Fayetteville and Patsy Bower of Huntland, she is married to Chad Gentry, son of Randy and Audrey Gentry also of Fayetteville. At Motlow she will be a faculty member in the education department teaching health and physical education courses.

Coach Jerry Nichols, athletic director for the College said, “We’re excited to get someone like Tori. I think she’s going to bring a drive like no other and I’m looking forward to having her join the Motlow athletic staff.”

When asked why she came to Motlow and her plans for the position she said, “Coming to Motlow is coming back home for me. I think it’s really easy to recruit for a school that you respect and enjoy and has a good reputation in the sport.” She continued, “I am excited about the opportunity and I will begin recruiting immediately to get a class in and hopefully continue the success the program has had in the past.”
2010-2011 Softball News Archives