2015 Softball News

Marshall County's Ashton Watkins Signs with Motlow College

June 1, 2015
by Anthony S. Puca, Marshall County Times

After thoughtful deliberation, Marshall County High School shortstop Ashton Watkins has decided to prolong her softball career by signing with Motlow State College in Lynchburg.

Ashton Watkins
"It was a long, hard decision, but after playing for so long, I felt like it was the smart decision to keep it going for as long as I could, and I'm glad I did," said Watkins.

"Growing up playing ball all my life is something that grows a part of you, and it is hard to give it up, so I want to go out with a bang these last two years."

Watkins, a four-starter for the Tigerettes, played second base in her freshman year before settling into her natural position at shortstop as a sophomore.

If Watkins were a Major League Baseball player, she would easily be a perennial gold-glover because she makes all the routine plays and can turn heads with the remarkable plays as well.

"I'm very proud of her and her accomplishments. She has been an asset for Marshall County defensively at shortstop and when she started off at second base," said MCHS coach Heather Denton.

"We are going to miss her so much out there in the field."

Watkins was the Offensive MVP last season in District 12-AA and came back with another big year at the plate for the Tigerettes, batting .386 with 30 RBI, 23 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, seven base on balls and 10 stolen bases.

"Offensively, she put us in a lot of games when we were behind, coming up big as a leader for us," said Denton.

Two of Watkins' biggest moments on offense came when she slammed a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning at Giles County, leading to a win that put Marshall County in this season's district tournament title game, and last year when Watkins hit a walk-off, grand slam home run versus Cascade.

"It's been unbelievable my whole career here, coming in as a freshman and having a good season, and now with our team this year that had eight freshman and five seniors," said Watkins.

"Overall we had a great year. We didn't finish how we would have liked, but I have nothing to complain about."

Watkins decision to attend Motlow State was made easier by the fact that she will be re-united with many of the girls she has played with or against at one time or another in travel ball, including current teammate McKenzie Jo Anderson.

"A lot of these kids on the team are excited, too, because they have played with her," said Motlow coach Tori Raby-Gentry.

"It's important to us to recruit locally because it gets us better support and it makes the kids happy because they get to play in front of their fans."

The Lady Bucs finished the 2014-2015 campaign with a (27-19-2) overall record, posting its first winning record since 2011, and Motlow coach Tori Raby-Gentry was very excited about signing Watkins into the fold.

"Ashton is a hard worker that shows on the field and is a leader from all I have seen," said Raby-Gentry.

"To be honest, with her versatile athletic ability, we think she can play multiple defensive positions and help us in the lineup."

Asked if Watkins would come in and play right away, Raby-Gentry said, "I don't think she will have any problems and will adjust very quickly."

Watkins sports a 3.8 GPA and wants to become a pharmacist.

Cascade pitcher Carter will join Hart at Motlow

June 1, 2015
by Chris Siers, Shelbyville Times-Gazette

Cascade pitcher Summer Carter spent the first two years of her career as a Lady Champion pitching to catcher Heather Hart. Despite Hart having her career cut short due to back-to-back season-ending knee injuries, Carter will be joining Hart on the Motlow Lady Bucks' roster next season.

Summer Carter
When it came to searching out new recruits, Lady Bucks coach Tori Raby-Gentry immediately was drawn to the pitcher-catcher combination of Carter and Hart at Cascade.

"It always helps because that relationship is hard to build and you only have two years to do it at a JUCO (junior college). To have two coming in that already know each other make it easier on both sides," she said.

For Cascade coach Willie Carter, he's just happy to get to see two of his seniors continue playing after the tandem was cut short due to injury.

"Summer had a couple of different choices. In my heart, that's what I want to see. I want to see those two on the field together. Now we'll hopefully get to see them play together," he said.

Carter spent the past four years as the Lady Champion pitcher, but also the better part of her career swapping between third and clean up in the batting order.

While she has a steady arm and power in her bat, Carter says Summer's leadership was another invaluable trait in the recent graduate.

"She's a workhorse for the team. She's sort of our spark plug. A lot of the girls look up to her too. She doesn't mind talking to the other girls and that means a lot to the team chemistry," he said.

Gentry was also impressed with Carter's dual threat from the pitcher's circle and at the plate.

"Pitching is always critical. To have someone that can come in and immediately make an impact. Also it doesn't hurt that she has a good bat. That always helps make things better," she said.

Initially, Carter says her attention was drawn to a bigger school, but soon realized Motlow would be her home for the next two years.

"It's exciting--very exciting. I liked the school. At first I thought I wanted to go to a big school, but I wanted to go for the education too. I want to be an orthodontist or a dentist," Carter said.

The thought of playing once again Hart also weighed on Carter's decision.

"We're going to bring the dynamic duo back. It warms my heart. She's like my best friend," she said.

Though she has a vast collection of fond memories in a Lady Champion uniform, Carter says her favorite memory came in the final weeks of her senior year.

Last season, the Lady Champions moved up to Class 2A and faced one of the top pitchers in the midstate--Mary Beth Brumit from Giles County.

Brumit dominated the Lady Champions in their first meeting a year ago, striking out 20 of 21 potential batters.

This season, the Lady Champions weren't shut down so effectively, but still trailed the Lady Bobcats in the final meeting of the season.

Carter says her favorite memory came when she launched a three-run homer off Brumit on April 22.

Carter will report to Motlow for workouts later this summer and will begin her college career in the fall.

Lady Bucks advance to semifinals of TCCAA Tournament

May 1, 2015

After dropping their opening game in the TCCAA/Region VII softball tournament in Chattanooga, the Motlow Lady Bucks made a run through the elimination bracket to the semifinals before falling 8-2 to Volunteer State Saturday to end the 2015 season.

Riley Long
Riley Long, a freshman from Whitwell shown during a game earlier this season, pitched all four games as the Motlow Lady Bucks went 2-2 in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament last week in Chattanooga. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Motlow (27-19-2) completed its first winning campaign since 2011, despite losing multiple players to injury and finishing the tournament with only 10 players available.

After falling 3-0 to Volunteer State on Friday, the Lady Bucks came back strong later that evening with an 11-8 win over Southwest Tennessee. Motlow then upset nationally-ranked Columbia State 2-1 Saturday morning before dropping their final contest in a rematch with Volunteer late Saturday night.

Freshman Riley Long pitched all four games for the Lady Bucks, allowing 11 earned runs in her 28 innings in the circle. However, seven of the earned runs came against Southwest Tennessee in Motlow's victory over the Lady Saluqis.

The Lady Bucks couldn't generate much offense in the tournament-opening loss to Volunteer State, managing only three hits. Long scattered eight hits and allowed only one earned run, but her defense committed three errors. Morgan Moyers, Taylor Wolaver and Chelsea Buffington had hits for Motlow.

Friday night's win over Southwest featured a dramatic comeback by the Lady Bucks after the Lady Saluqis took a 6-0 lead after three innings. Motlow scored five runs in the fifth to pull within 6-5, but Southwest plated two more in the bottom of the inning. The Lady Bucks stormed right back with five more runs in the sixth and added a single run in the seventh.

Long allowed 16 hits, but her offense cranked out 13 hits of its own. Bridgette Wilson had two of them and drove in four runs, while Lauren Hasty and Miranda Whelan each drove in a pair. Wolaver, Hasty, Makayla Campbell, Traci Shelton, and Rachel Gamble each had two hits for the Lady Bucks.

Saturday morning's upset of Columbia State saw Long scatter five hits with two strikeouts. The Lady Charger's only run came in the fourth and was unearned due to Motlow's only error of the game.

The Lady Bucks tied the score in the bottom of the fourth as Hasty singled with one out and scored on Shelton's RBI single. The winning run came in the fifth when Buffington reached on an error and scored on Wilson's RBI single with two outs.

Motlow opened Saturday night's rematch with Volunteer by scoring twice in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Pioneers responded with four runs in the first and three more in the second. The Lady Bucks struggled defensively with six errors, while Long allowed 10 hits but only three earned runs.

Campbell had a pair of hits for Motlow, including an RBI single that drove in Hasty in the first, but the Lady Bucks could not generate significant offense after that first inning.

Motlow head coach Tori Raby-Gentry will have a significant group of returning players to build her 2016 squad around, as only five Lady Bucks completed their careers including Campbell, Moyers, Buffington, Wilson and Wheelan.

Lady Bucks face Volunteer St. in conference tournament

April 21, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks finished fifth in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association standings and will play No. 4 seed Volunteer St. in their tournament opener on Thursday at 9 a.m. CST. The game can be seen live on the tournament website.

2015 TCCAA/Region VII Tournament website.

The Lady Bucks (25-17-2, 17-15) and Lady Pioneers will open the regular tournament following Wednesday's baseball and softball play-in games. The winner will play Friday morning at 9 a.m., while the loser will play Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. CST.

The tournament is being played at Chattanooga St., with the winner advancing to the national championships in St. George, Utah.


Motlow Softball Sophomores lead Lady Bucks to Winning Season

April 29, 2015

Five Motlow College student-athletes recently played their final home game and were recognized for their contributions to the Lady Bucks softball program. From left; Miranda Whelan, Ramsey, Ind.; Bridgette Wilson, Athens, Ala.; Chelsea Buffington, Fyffe, Ala.; Morgan Moyers, Lewisburg; and Makayla Campbell, Cornersville. The picture collage plaques were created by Jeff Reed Photography. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Pearson, Long pitch Lady Bucks to series win over Southwest Tennessee

April 13, 2015

Freshmen pitchers Cameron Pearson and Riley Long combined to allow only four earned runs in 28 innings and the Motlow Lady Bucks won three out of four games from Southwest Tennessee over the weekend in Memphis.

The Lady Bucks (25-9-2, 17-7) are scheduled to host the Tennessee Wesleyan JV team on Tuesday for a non-conference doubleheader, then welcome Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) leader Chattanooga State this weekend in a four-game series. The Lady Tigers were ranked fourth in the country in last week's national junior college softball poll.

After Southwest took the series opener 2-1 Friday afternoon, the Lady Bucks came back to win game two 12-3. Motlow continued the momentum Saturday, capturing game one 5-0 and closing out the series with a 3-1 victory. Motlow has now won eight of its last 10 games, including six of eight in the conference.

Pearson (12-4) pitched well enough to win in the 2-1 series-opening loss, scattering 12 hits with a pair of strikeouts. Southwest TN scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Lady Bucks had scored one in the top of the seventh to tie the score and send it into extra innings. Motlow had six hits, including two each by Morgan Moyers and Lauren Hasty.

Motlow's bats came alive in Friday's second game, combining 15 hits, including five for extra bases, with seven Southwest errors to score 12 runs. Long (8-5) was outstanding, scattering 10 hits and walking only one. The Lady Bucks scored runs in six of the game's seven innings.

Makayla Campbell slammed a pair of doubles and drove in three runs and Hasty had a double and a triple and also drove home three runs. Lianna Martinez, Miranda Whelan, Rachel Gamble and Moyers each had multiple hits, and Moyers added four stolen bases on the day.

Saturday's opening game featured Pearson, who went five innings, and Long combining to allow only six hits and one walk in the 5-0 shutout victory. Motlow scored all five runs in the second inning after Whelan and Bridgette Wilson opened the frame with singles. Hasty, Whelan and Chelsea Buffington each had an RBI, and Martinez, Whelan and Taylor Wolaver each had two hits.

Long took the mound in the series finale and closed the door on the Lady Saluqis, pitching a complete game and allowing only six hits. The Lady Bucks took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, giving Long all the runs she needed.

Moyers drew a walk to open the game, then stole second base. Martinez singled to move Moyers to third and Wolaver drove her home with a sacrifice fly. With the bases loaded and two outs, Wilson was hit by a pitch to drive in the second run of the inning. Wolaver drove in Buffington with an RBI double in the second inning and Long made the lead stand up to give Motlow series wins in three of its previous four conference series.

Tuesday and Friday home games are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader against the powerful Lady Tigers will begin at noon at Lady Bucks Field.

Lady Bucks win TCCAA home series, travel to Southwest TN this weekend

April 6, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks slammed out 40 hits, including nine by Makayla Campbell and a pair of home runs by Taylor Wolaver, and won three out of four games from Cleveland State over the weekend in a TCCAA series at Lady Bucks Field on Motlow's Moore County campus.

Taylor Wolaver
Cornersville freshman Taylor Wolaver hit a pair of two-run homers to help Motlow to a series win over Cleveland State last weekend. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
The Lady Bucks and Lady Cougars split a doubleheader on Thursday, with Motlow winning the opener 5-4 and Cleveland State capturing game two 7-0. Wolaver had both her home runs on Friday, leading the Lady Bucks to a 10-9 eight inning win in game one and a 9-1 victory in the series finale.

Motlow (20-8-2, 14-6) is scheduled to travel to Lookout Mountain, Ga., Wednesday for a non-conference doubleheader with the Covenant College JV, then head to Arlington Friday and Saturday for a four-game TCCAA series against Southwest Tennessee. The Lady Bucks are currently in fourth place in the conference standings.

The series-opening 5-4 win didn't come easy for Motlow after the Lady Bucks took a 5-1 lead after four innings. Bridgette Wilson and Miranda Whelan doubled in back-to-back runs in the third inning, followed by a Campbell RBI single, to give the home team a 3-1 lead after three. Wilson singled in two more runs in the fourth to give the Lady Bucks their four-run advantage.

But after reliever Riley Long replaced starter Cameron Pearson (11-3), the Lady Cougars fought back to within a run by scoring twice in the seventh inning. Long induced a pop out with a pair of runners on to seal the win for Motlow.

Morgan Moyers had three hits while Wilson, Whelan and Lianna Martinez each had two. Whelan and Campbell drove in a run with Wilson driving in the other three.

Thursday's second game was forgettable for the Lady Bucks as Cleveland's pitcher tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout. Campbell had two of Motlow's hits, and Pearson took the loss allowing three earned runs in five innings. Long gave up two hits in two innings of relief work.

Friday's first game was a classic, back-and-forth affair that featured multiple lead changes and ties. Each team scored twice in the first inning and Motlow scored two more to lead 4-2 after four innings. Cleveland tied it with two in the fifth but the Lady Bucks added three runs and led 7-4 after five.

The visitors came right back with two more in the sixth and one in the seventh to send the game into extra innings tied at 7-7. Cleveland scored twice in the top of the eighth, but the Lady Bucks took advantage of a pair of Lady Cougar errors in the bottom of the inning to score three runs and steal the win.

Long (5-5) got the victory after relieving Pearson with two outs in the sixth inning. Long pitched 2.1 innings and gave up six hits and two earned runs. Taylor hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and went 2-5, Moyers was 3-5 at the top of the order, and Campbell and Lauren Hasty joined Moyers with three hits each, leading Motlow's 17-hit performance.

Game two featured an excellent complete-game pitching performance by Long, who allowed only three hits and one run in six innings. Campbell was outstanding at the plate once again, going 3-4 with a pair of RBI. Wolaver hit her second two-run homer of the day in the second inning as Motlow grabbed a 5-1 lead.

10-inning marathon highlights Lady Bucks softball split

March 31, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks overcame a six run first-inning deficit and scored the winning run in the top of the tenth inning to beat Volunteer State 13-12 Saturday afternoon in Gallatin. The win was part of a four-game series split between the two TCCAA rivals.

Bridgette Wilson
Sophomore Bridgette Wilson, shown from a contest earlier this season, had six hits during Motlow's series split with Volunteer State. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Motlow (16-6-2, 11-5) also staged a comeback in Friday's series opener, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to win 9-8. The Lady Pioneers turned the tables in Friday's second game 10-6. Following the Lady Bucks' dramatic win in Saturday's opener, the home team finished off the weekend earning a split with a 10-2 victory.

Motlow is scheduled to play three doubleheaders at home this week, beginning with a visit from non-conference Martin Methodist College JV on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Lady Bucks are back in conference play this weekend, hosting Cleveland State on Thursday at 2 p.m. and Friday, April 3, at noon. There is no admission charge to Motlow College athletic events.

Friday's first game typified the Lady Bucks during this 2015 season; a team that continues to battle even when faced with significant deficits. The Lady Pioneers (9-11, 7-9) put Motlow in an early 7-1 hole after three innings, but the Lady Buck scored four in the sixth and four more in the seventh to grab the one run win.

Cameron Pearson (10-1) went the distance, allowing 11 hits and three earned runs. The Lady Bucks overcame seven errors during the victory and got out-hit 11-9. Taylor Wolaver went 3-4 with three RBI and Chelsea Buffington drove in a pair of runs. Wolaver scored the go-ahead run on a Buffington sacrifice fly.

Motlow staged a mini comeback during Friday's second game although it fell short. After falling behind 10-0 through four innings the Lady Bucks fought back before losing 10-6. Shaky defense hurt the Motlow cause with five errors, but Motlow pitchers Riley Long, Lauren Hasty and Rachel Gamble combined to give up 13 hits and seven earned runs.

Saturday's opener was a classic, with Pearson pitching the full 10 innings and allowing 20 hits, but only six earned runs. After the early 6-0 deficit, the Lady Bucks scored four runs in the second, two in the third and four more in the fourth inning to lead 11-7 after five innings. However, Volunteer State added three in the sixth and one more in the seventh to tie the game at 11-11. Each team scored once in the eighth before Motlow plated the game winner in the tenth. Lianna Martinez scored the game winner for the Lady Bucks on Pearson's sacrifice fly.

Miranda Whelan slammed three doubles and drove in three runs and Bridgette Wilson added a pair of doubles and drove in two more runs. Pearson had two RBI as Motlow collected 15 hits and overcame nine errors.

The Lady Bucks seemed to run out of steam by Saturday's second game after taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Lady Pioneers scored two in the second, three in the third, two more in the fourth and three runs in the sixth.

Long took the loss, allowing seven hits and four earned runs in three innings. Gamble pitched the final two innings and gave up four hits and three earned runs.

Lady Bucks take three of four from Roane State, head to Gallatin this weekend

March 24, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks got a pair of shutout pitching performances from freshman Cameron Pearson and won three out of four games from TCCAA rival Roane State last weekend. The series win came on the heels of a doubleheader sweep of non-conference opponent Martin Methodist JV on Wednesday.

The Lady Bucks (14-4-2, 9-3) will travel to Gallatin this weekend for a four-game series against conference rival Volunteer State. Friday's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., with Saturday's action starting at noon.

After sweeping Martin Methodist 3-1, 6-4 in Pulaski Wednesday, the Lady Bucks were forced to move their scheduled Friday doubleheader against Roane State to Saturday at Moore County High School due to wet field conditions. Motlow swept Saturday's action 4-2, 7-3. On Sunday the teams played at Lady Bucks Field, with Motlow winning the opener 2-0 before dropping the nightcap 11-4.

Freshman Taylor Wolaver (2-0) was the pitching star in Wednesday's opening win over MMC, scattering seven hits with three strikeouts. After MMC took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, Motlow tied the game in the third when Wolaver drove in Makayla Campbell with a double after Makayla hit a one-out single.

The go-ahead run came in the sixth when Chelsea Buffington hit a two-out single and scored on a passed ball. The Lady Bucks scored an insurance run in the seventh when Lianna Martinez singled to drive in Bridgette Wilson, who had opened the inning with a single.

Motlow scored four runs in the second inning of game two, then held off a late charge from the home team to earn the sweep. Pearson (8-1) got the win in relief of starter Riley Long with a pair of hitless innings. Long pitched the first three and allowed five hits and one earned run. Lauren Hasty tossed the final two innings, allowing two hits and two runs.

Rachel Gamble went 4-7 on the day and scored three runs, while Martinez was 3-4 in game one with an RBI. Campbell drove in two runs in game two.

Game one on Saturday featured Pearson pitching a complete game, allowing only three hits and no earned runs. The Lady Bucks scored all four of their runs in the fourth inning, led by a two-out, three-run double by Campbell.

Long started game two for Motlow and pitched three strong innings, allowing four hits and one earned run. Wolaver relieved Long and gave up just one hit in three innings, followed by Gamble who pitched the seventh.

Motlow's big inning was the fourth, when they scored four runs to increase their lead to 5-0. Shortstop Aubrey Crowell was 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Wilson drove in a pair of runs and leads the Lady Bucks with 16 runs batted in.

Sunday's opener featured another pitching gem from Pearson as she went the full seven innings and allowed only four hits with three strikeouts. Pearson lowered her earned run average to 2.39 in 52.2 total innings pitched.

Both Motlow runs came in the second inning as Wolaver led off with a double and advanced to third on Buffington's ground out. Pearson then drove in Wolaver with a single and moved to third on Hasty's double. Traci Shelton drove in Pearson with a sacrifice fly.

Game two saw Motlow leading 2-1 heading into the sixth inning when Roane State exploded for 10 runs to capture the series finale. Long (2-3) took the loss, pitching into the sixth and allowing only four hits. Wolaver relieved Long in the sixth but allowed five hits and seven runs, although only two were earned.

Martinez went 3-4 and raised her batting average to .556 in limited playing time. Moyers was 2-4 with two RBI. Roane State's first baseman Cooper hit both a three-run homer and a grand slam in the Lady Raiders' 10-run sixth inning.

Following their trip to Gallatin this weekend, the Lady Bucks will return home to host Martin Methodist JV Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Lady Bucks will then host Cleveland State in a four-game series on Thursday and Friday, April 2 & 3. Thursday's action begins at 2 p.m. and Friday's game will start at noon.

Lady Bucks to host TCCAA series with Roane State this weekend after sweep of Dyersburg

March 17, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks continued their strong start to the softball season when they traveled to Dyersburg on Monday and swept Dyersburg State 3-2, 2-1. The series was originally scheduled for four games, but the first two were rained out. No makeup date has been announced.

The Lady Bucks (9-3-2, 6-2) are scheduled to travel to Pulaski on Wednesday for a non-conference doubleheader with the Martin Methodist College JV. Motlow returns home this weekend for a four-game series with TCCAA rival Roane State. The first pitch Friday is scheduled for 2 p.m., while Saturday's doubleheader begins at noon.

Motlow featured outstanding pitching in both wins over Dyersburg. Cameron Pearson raised her record to 5-1 by tossing five shutout innings in game one. After allowing two runs in the sixth, Pearson was pulled for Riley Long, who shut down the Lady Eagles the final two innings and picked up the save.

The Lady Bucks scored single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings. Bridgette Wilson's single drove home Morgan Moyers in the first after Moyers opened the inning with a single and stole second base. In the fourth, Taylor Wolaver walked with one out, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Dyersburg State error.

Leading 2-0, the Lady Bucks added what turned out to be the winning run in the fifth. Moyers once again started the rally from her leadoff position by opening the inning with a single. After moving to third on another Dyersburg error, Moyers scored on Wilson's groundout.

During game two it was Miranda Whelan who started in the circle and kept the Lady Eagles at bay for much of her 5.2 innings. Whelan scattered seven hits and allowed the one run. Long earned her second save of the day by pitching the final 1.1 inning, allowing only one hit.

Motlow scored both runs in the fifth inning. With one out Moyers doubled, then scored when Wilson doubled with two outs. Aubrey Crowell followed Wilson with the third double of the inning, driving in what proved to be the winning run.

Moyers went 4-8 on the day and scored three runs, Crowell had three hits and Wilson had two hits and two RBI.

Motlow softball momentum slowed down by Columbia State and inclement weather

March 10, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks saw their modest six-game winning streak come to an abrupt end when they dropped a doubleheader to TCCAA rival Columbia State 17-2, 8-0 Sunday afternoon at Cascade High School.

Bridgette Wilson
Motlow sophomore Bridgette Wilson looks to make a play from third base during Motlow's recent doubleheader against Columbia State. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Motlow (7-3-2, 4-2) and Columbia (6-4, 3-1) were scheduled to play another doubleheader as part of the four-game series, but were not able to complete the series due to continued inclement weather. No makeup date has been announced for the final two games. The series was originally scheduled to be played March 6 and 7 at Lady Bucks Field, but was moved to Sunday and Monday and moved to Cascade, which drains significantly better.

The Lady Bucks were also scheduled to play a non-conference doubleheader against Gadsden State in Gadsden, Ala., on Tuesday, but the trip was cancelled as well due to continued rain. Next on the schedule is a four-game series against conference rival Dyersburg State, in Dyersburg, Friday and Saturday, March 13 & 14.

Motlow never seemed to recover against Columbia State on Sunday after the Lady Chargers scored five runs in the top of the first inning. Freshman Cameron Pearson (4-1) struggled out of the gate, allowing a three-run homer in the first. She was not helped by her defense, which committed four errors leading to 10 unearned runs by the visitors.

The Lady Bucks' two runs came in the fourth inning as freshman Aubrey Crowell hit her third home run of the season, driving in Bridgette Wilson who had been hit by a pitch to open the inning. After Motlow had cut the lead to 8-2, the Lady Chargers finished game one off by scoring nine in the top of the fifth.

Sunday's second game was not a whole lot different than the first as the Lady Bucks struggled to hit the ball against outstanding Columbia State pitching. The Lady Chargers once again jumped out front early with five runs in the top of the third inning. Motlow managed only three hits, including a double by sophomore Chelsea Buffington.

Freshman Riley Long (2-2) took the loss for Motlow, although she pitched 3.1 innings and allowed only five hits and two earned runs. Classmate Lauren Hasty tossed the final 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs.

Pearson No-Hitter highlights Lady Bucks Softball sweep over Jackson State

March 3, 2015

Winchester freshman pitcher Cameron Pearson tossed a no-hitter and was the winning pitcher in two of the four games as the Motlow Lady Bucks jumped to the top of the conference standings with a four-game sweep of Jackson State last weekend.

Aubrey Crowell
Murfreesboro freshman Aubrey Crowell has been one of Motlow's top offensive performers during the Lady Bucks' six-game winning streak. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
On Saturday, Motlow took the opener 5-1 and won the nightcap 13-7. Sunday, Pearson opened the day with her no-hitter and the Lady Bucks only needed five innings to win 11-0 in the first game, then completed the sweep with a 6-3 win in the series finale.

The Lady Bucks (7-1-2) have now won six consecutive games and are off to their fastest start in four years. Scheduled non-conference games against Calhoun Community College and Snead State, originally set for today in Decatur, Ala., and tomorrow at home, respectively, have been postponed. Motlow will host TCCAA rival Columbia State this weekend, with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday set to begin at 1 p.m. at Lady Bucks Field on the Moore County campus.

Originally scheduled to be played on Friday and Saturday at home, the series with Jackson State was moved by to Saturday and Sunday and played at Cascade High School in Bell Buckle after last week's snowfall made Motlow's home field unplayable.

Big innings at critical times was the theme of the weekend for Motlow. The first critical big inning came in Saturday's first game when the Lady Bucks broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bridgette Wilson and Aubrey Crowell, batting 3-4 in Motlow's lineup, combined to go 5-7 with three doubles and a home run.

Wilson's leadoff homer in the fourth inning tied the score 1-1 after Jackson St. scored a single run in the third against Pearson, who allowed only three hits in 5.1 innings. Still tied at one entering the sixth, the Lady Bucks exploded.

Wilson and Crowell opened the inning with doubles, with Wilson scoring the first run on Miranda Whelan's fielder's choice. Taylor Wolaver then singled in Crowell. With one out, Traci Shelton reached on an error allowing Whelan to score. Morgan Moyer then walked, bringing home Wolaver to cap off the 5-1 win.

Riley Long relieved Pearson on the mound in the sixth and allowed three hits but no runs in her 1.2 innings or work to get her first win of the season. She would add her second on Sunday.

The big inning in Saturday's second game came in the sixth when the Lady Bucks put 10 runs on the board in their come-from-behind 13-7 win. Pearson came on in relief in the fifth inning with her team trailing 6-3 and allowed only two hits and one unearned run to earn her third win of the season without a loss.

The Lady Generals jumped on Motlow starter Whelan for single runs in the first and third innings to lead 2-0. Motlow cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third when Moyers singled with one out, moved to second on a sacrifice fly, and scored on a Jackson State error.

Cameron Pearson
Winchester freshman Cameron Pearson pitched a no-hitter and raised her season record to 4-0 with two wins against Jackson State. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
After Jackson tagged Motlow reliever Rachel Gamble for four runs in the fifth inning to lead 6-1, Motlow came right back with two in the bottom of the inning. Shelton led off with a double and Makayla Campbell reached on a fielder's choice. After Moyers got thrown out at home, Wilson stepped to the plate and blasted her second homer of the day, and of the season, to cut the lead to 6-3.

The Lady Generals extended their lead to 7-3 with a single run in the sixth off Pearson, but the Lady Bucks' offense buried the visitors with their biggest inning of the young season. Shelton drove in a run with a single, Moyers drove in two with a double, Campbell hit an RBI single, Crowell drove in one with a walk, Pearson singled in a run, Lauren Hasty drew another walk to force in another run, Wolaver hit an RBI single, Chelsea Buffington had an RBI single, and Moyers finished off the inning with an RBI single. Motlow had eight hits in the inning and left three runners on base.

Sunday's first game was all about Pearson's pitching gem, as she allowed only three walks with three strikeouts in tossing her first career no hitter and raising her pitching record to 4-0. Her offense gave her more than enough runs by scoring nine in the second inning and adding two more in the third.

Crowell was 2-3 with a double and triple and drove in four runs. Wolaver, a freshman from Cornersville, hit her first home run of the season and drove in two runs. Moyers and Pearson also drove in a run each. The Lady Bucks played excellent defense with no errors behind Pearson's pitching.

Game four of the series on Sunday afternoon may have been the most competitive. The Lady Bucks jumped out a 3-0 lead with three runs in the first inning. After Jackson tied the score with three runs of their own in the second, the Lady Bucks scored the final three in the third inning.

Long (2-1) got the win for Motlow by relieving Hasty in the second inning and allowing only one hit and two walks in the final 5.2 innings. Crowell hit her second home run of the season in the first inning, driving in Wilson to give Motlow an early 2-0 lead. Wolaver added an RBI double in the first.

Whelan opened the third inning getting hit by a pitch and advancing to second on a passed ball. Wolaver walked before Hasty droving in Whelan with a single. Shelton then finished off the Lady Generals with a two-run double, scoring Wolaver and Hasty.

Lady Bucks sweep DH from Gadsden State, open conference play next week

Feb. 20, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks put it all together on the softball diamond last weekend, sweeping visiting Gadsden State 7-3, 7-1 at Lady Bucks Field on the Motlow Moore County campus.

Makayla Campbell
Motlow second baseman Makayla Campbell keeps her eye on the ball during the Lady Bucks' sweep of Gadsden State last weekend. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Motlow (3-1-2) will host non-conference opponent Snead State on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in their final tune-up before Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rival Jackson State comes to town for a four-game series beginning Friday, Feb. 27. Friday's doubleheader begins at 1 p.m., while Saturday's twin bill gets started at noon. There is no admission charge to Motlow athletic events.

Game one against Gadsden was tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Motlow sophomore catcher Chelsea Buffington broke the tie with a single to drive in Miranda Whelan, who had opened the inning with a single. One out later, freshman Traci Shelton slammed a three-run homer to give the Lady Bucks a 7-3 lead heading into the final inning.

Cameron Pearson started on the mound for the Lady Bucks, allowing all three runs, two of them earned, in three innings of work. Riley Long (1-1) got the win after relieving Pearson in the fourth inning and allowing only three hits in four innings.

Shelton, batting in the No. 9 spot, had two hits and four RBI, while Buffington was 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI and Taylor Wolaver added a pair of hits.

The bottom of the sixth inning was extremely good to the Lady Bucks in game two as well. Motlow broke a 1-1 tie with six runs in the frame, sparked by a pair of doubles to open the inning by Aubrey Crowell and Whelan. Morgan Moyers added an RBI single, Bridgette Wilson hit a two-run single, and Crowell, batting for the second time in the inning, finished the scoring with an RBI single.

Whelan (1-0) was outstanding in pitching a complete game, scattering six hits while striking out four and allowing only two walks. Moyers had three hits at the top of the order and Wilson, Crowell and Whelan each added a pair of hits, with Wilson driving in three runs.

Lady Bucks open two-week softball home stretch Saturday

Feb. 12, 2015

After opening the season with two of their first four games ending with tied scores due to darkness, the Motlow Lady Bucks will begin a two-week, 10-game home stretch when they host Gadsden State on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Lady Bucks Field on the Moore County campus. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon.

The Lady Bucks (1-1-2) took their first road trip on Tuesday, playing a doubleheader in Boaz, Ala., against non-conference opponent Snead State. Motlow dropped the opener 6-5 as Snead scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Although the official Motlow softball record book shows no ties in the schools' 20-year softball history, the Lady Bucks recorded their second tie in the last week in game two at Snead. The Lady Bucks scored the tying run in the top of the sixth inning, and after holding Snead scoreless in the bottom of the sixth the game was called due to darkness.

In its season-opening doubleheader at home on Friday, Motlow won game one 6-4 and then saw game two called because of darkness with the score tied 6-6 after seven innings against visiting Calhoun Community College.

The opener in Boaz saw the home team score single runs in the first, third and fourth innings against starter Cameron Pearson, who pitched four innings and allowed seven hits with three strikeouts. Motlow added two runs in the second inning and another in the third and the two teams entered the sixth inning tied 3-3.

Motlow took a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth when Makayla Campbell and Bridgette Wilson hit back-to-back RBI doubles. Relief pitcher Riley Long (0-1) was victimized by a critical two-run error in the bottom of the sixth, tying the game 5-5 after six innings.

Another costly Lady Buck error brought the winning run home for Snead on the sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning. Long allowed just two hits in 2.2 innings of work.

Campbell had two hits and drove in two runs, Wilson had an RBI with her double, and Aubrey Crowell hit a triple and scored on a passed ball in the third inning.

Motlow led game two 2-1 after three innings behind the strong starting pitching of Lauren Hasty, who allowed only five hits and one run in three innings of work. Six Snead State errors kept the Lady Bucks in the game, despite being out-hit 10-6.

Rachel Gamble relieved Hasty in the fourth and gave up two runs on a pair of Snead State doubles, putting the Lady Bucks in a 3-2 hole. Motlow tied the game in the top of the sixth when Morgan Moyers drove in Chelsea Buffington with a groundout to first base.

Gamble shut down the home team in the bottom of the sixth and the officials called the game due to darkness.

Whelan's walk-off homer carries Lady Bucks to season-opening win before darkness sets in

Feb. 9, 2015

Sophomore first baseman Miranda Whelan hit a walk-off three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Motlow Lady Bucks opened the 2015 softball season with a thrilling 6-4 win over visiting Calhoun Community College Friday at Lady Bucks Field.

Cameron Pearson
Motlow's Cameron Pearson, a freshman from Franklin County, releases the first pitch of the 2015 softball season on Friday to Calhoun's leadoff hitter at Lady Bucks Field. Motlow College Photo.
The second game of the doubleheader was called due to darkness at the end of seven innings with the two teams tied 6-6. Motlow's Bridgette Wilson hit a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh to force the tie.

"The team showed heart and fight to come back from behind in both games," said Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby-Gentry. "Overall, it was a good first outing and our goal is to progress each game."

The Lady Bucks (1-0-1) will travel to Boaz, Ala., on Tuesday for a doubleheader against Snead State, then return home Saturday to begin a 10-game home stretch. The Lady Bucks open the home stand when they host Gadsden State at 1 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Franklin County freshman Cameron Pearson (1-0) took the mound for Motlow in the opener and went the distance, allowing three earned runs on 12 hits. Whelan and Wilson each had two hits, with Whelan collecting five RBI on the home run and a first inning double.

The score was tied 2-2 after one inning and 3-3 after five innings. Calhoun took a 4-3 lead with a run in the top of the sixth, setting the stage for Whelan's walk-off heroics. Motlow had eight hits in game one, and each team stranded seven runners.

Game two was another close affair, with the two teams tied 1-1 after two innings. Motlow's Aubrey Crowell opened the bottom of the second with the first home run of her career. Calhoun scored two runs in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth to lead 5-1. Motlow bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Lauren Hasty singled in a run and Pearson doubled in two more to close the Calhoun lead to 5-4 after six innings.

The visitors scored an apparent insurance run in the top of the seventh with a solo home run, but the Lady Bucks, who once again entered the bottom of the final inning trailing, refused to accept defeat.

Traci Shelton walked with one out, followed by a Makayla Campbell single. After both runners advanced a base on a passed ball, Wilson slammed her double to tie the game. Motlow couldn't get the hit it needed to score Wilson though and the seventh inning ended. It was at that point that officials decided it was too dark to continue, and the game was officially entered into the record books as a 6-6 tie.

Taylor Wolaver started on the mound for the Lady Bucks, pitching three innings and allowing five hits and one earned run. Riley Long tossed two innings, allowing two hits and three runs, although none of them were earned. Lauren Hasty pitched the final three innings, scattering five hits with two runs allowed.

Motlow had nine hits in game two, including the doubles by Wilson and Pearson and Crowell's home run.

Talented Lady Bucks short on experience as softball season opens Feb. 3

Jan. 26, 2015

The Motlow Lady Bucks will lean heavily on a group of talented freshmen and a handful of returning sophomores when they open the 2015 softball season on Tuesday, Feb. 3, against Calhoun Community College at Lady Bucks Field on the Motlow College Moore County campus. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Motlow Lady Bucks 2015 Softball Schedule

Head Coach Tori Raby-Gentry begins her fourth season at the helm of the Lady Bucks searching for her first winning season at Motlow. Raby-Gentry, a former player and assistant coach for the Lady Bucks, returned to lead the program in 2011 and has posted a 57-88 mark in three seasons.

Although the freshmen class must produce significantly for the Lady Bucks to contend for the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) title, leadership and guidance will have to come from those five returnees.

"I have high expectations for this team," said Raby-Gentry. "I expect solid leadership from our sophomore class. We have more depth in our pitching staff than last year. That, coupled with a stronger offensive lineup, should produce greater results in the win column, assuming we can keep everyone healthy."

Infielder Makayla Campbell from Cornersville is the leading returning offensive threat after batting .324 last season with 36 hits, 27 runs batted in, 22 runs, four doubles and four stolen bases.

Returning outfielder Morgan Moyers of Lewisburg is coming off a solid offensive season, batting .262 with 33 hits, 22 runs batted in and 30 runs scored. Moyers provides speed on the base paths with 11 stolen bases and a disciplined eye at the plate with 24 bases on balls.

Bridgette Wilson, who has already signed to continue her career at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, will likely hold down one of the corner infield positions after batting .244 last season with 29 hits, 24 runs scored and 16 runs batted in.

Chelsea Buffington, like Wilson, came to Motlow from North Alabama, and will be counted on to provide leadership and production for the 2015 Lady Bucks. Buffington, a catcher and infielder, hit .226 with 19 hits and 18 runs scored.

The fifth sophomore is Ramsey, Ind., product Miranda Whelan, who has battled injuries the past two seasons while trying to get her college softball career started. It will be a major boost to the Lady Bucks, both on the field and in the locker room, if Whelan can remain healthy and contribute to the team.

The freshmen class includes a number of players who starred at high schools in the Motlow College 11-county service area, including a half-dozen within a 30-minute drive from one of Motlow's four campuses. Three incoming freshmen are scheduled to be redshirts this season.

Lauren Hasty and Shania Taylor both played for former Motlow coach Gary Barfield at Tullahoma. Hasty starred for the Lady Wildcats as both a pitcher and first baseman, despite missing much of her senior season with an injury. Taylor will redshirt this year, but is an outfielder who will bring much-needed speed to the Lady Bucks in the future.

Additional freshmen who played their high school ball close to a Motlow campus are Cameron Pearson from Franklin County, Traci Shelton from Lincoln County, Macy Clements from Cannon County, Aubrey Crowell from Oakland in Murfreesboro and Taylor Wolaver from Cornersville.

All put up impressive numbers during their high school careers, but Crowell stands out among the group as she hit .409 with three home runs and 39 runs batted in as a senior and was named to the all-district 7-AAA team for three consecutive seasons.

Other incoming freshmen who will be counted on to contribute immediately are Rachel Gamble from East Hamilton High School in Chattanooga, Riley Long from Whitwell, and Lianna Martinez from Centennial High School in Franklin. Long's high school numbers stand out as she compiled a 19-3 pitching record during her senior season with a 1.52 earned run average and 61 strikeouts.

Mackenzie Peacock from North Jackson High School in Stevenson, Ala., and Kaleigh Mangrum from Kingston Springs will join Taylor as redshirts this season.

The Lady Bucks ended the 2014 season with a 20-34 overall record and a 14-22 TCCAA mark. Motlow entered the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed and traveled to No. 3 Columbia State, where the Lady Bucks dropped a 9-1, 12-11 doubleheader to the Lady Chargers.

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2015 Motlow Lady Bucks Softball Team
2015 Motlow Lady Bucks - Members of the 2015 Motlow Lady Bucks softball team in numerical order: 1-Rachel Gamble, 2-Makayla Campbell, 3-Morgan Moyers, 4-Cameron Pearson, 5-Lauren Hasty, 6-Kaleigh Mangrum, 7-Taylor Wolaver, 8-Chelsea Buffington, 9-Riley Long, 10-Traci Shelton, 11-Shania Taylor, 12-Aubrey Crowell, 13-Bridgette Wilson, 15-Lianna Martinez, 16-Mackenzie Peacock, 19-Miranda Whelan, 20-Macy Clements. Motlow College Photo.

Motlow College softball camp is June 23-24

June 3, 2014

Motlow Lady Bucks head softball coach Tori Raby-Gentry will host a softball camp on June 23 and 24 at the softball complex on the Motlow College Moore County campus. Those who register before June 19 will receive a free camp t-shirt.

Softball Camp Registration Form (pdf)

The camp is for softball players age 12 and under and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon each day with a cost of $45 per camper. It will focus on a variety of individual skills including defense, hitting, bunting and base running.

Attendees are encouraged to reserve their spot at the camp by visiting MotlowSports.com. Please fill out the form and return it to the address on it along with payment. For additional information contact Raby-Gentry at 931-393-1617 or by email at [email protected].

Keli Bruning and Mindy Jo Britt

Keli Bruning of Jasper, left, and Mindy Jo Britt of Flat Rock, Alabama, recently graduated from Motlow College. Both played softball the past two seasons for the Lady Bucks, and both will continue their careers as student-athletes at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Joining Bruning and Britt for the signing ceremony are Angie Dean, left, head coach of the Patriots and Tori Raby-Gentry, head coach of the Lady Bucks.

Lady Bucks' Softball Season Ends in First Round

Apr. 29, 2014

The Motlow Lady Bucks saw their 2014 softball season come to a disappointing end when they dropped a 9-1, 12-11 doubleheader to Columbia State last weekend in the opening round of the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament in Columbia.

Motlow (20-34, 14-22) entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed while Columbia St. came in as the third seed. This year's format for the tournament's opening round featured the 6-10 seeds traveling to the 1-5 seeds for a best two-of-three series. The five series winners now head to Gallatin to complete the tournament this weekend.

Friday's opener in Columbia saw the home team come out on fire offensively, scoring two runs in the first inning and five more in the second. Motlow responded with one in the third, but the Lady Chargers came right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning and added a final run in the fourth. The game ended in five innings due to the eight-run rule.

Lindsey Knoer suffered the loss on the mound for Motlow, allowing 11 hits and four earned runs with a pair of strikeouts. Lauren Warren, Keli Bruning and Chelsea Howell had Motlow's only hits, with Bruning's third-inning double scoring Warren, who was hit by a pitch.

Game two was a high-scoring affair that saw Motlow lead 11-7 heading into the final inning before Columbia St. scored five runs, including a walk-off home run, to win the game and the series.

The Lady Bucks jumped out front with two runs in the first inning. Warren led off with a single and Bruning doubled her home. Makenzie Hopkins followed with a double of her own, scoring Bruning and giving Motlow an early 2-0 lead.

Columbia responded with five runs in the bottom of the first off starting pitcher Mindy Jo Britt, who allowed 13 hits and 10 earned runs with two strikeouts before being relieved with one out in the seventh.

Motlow's offense exploded for nine hits and nine runs in the third inning, giving the Lady Bucks a commanding 11-5 lead. The inning featured RBI singles from Makayla Campbell and Morgan Frye, a two-run single by Ashley Williams, and a three-run homer by Bruning.

The Lady Bucks couldn't hold the lead though as Columbia St. scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to close the gap to 11-7. Columbia's walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh came off reliever Monica Lane, who came in with one out in the inning and struck out a batter before allowing the home run.

The Lady Bucks will lose 10 sophomores from this year's squad and will return five players in 2015 that made significant contributions as freshmen. Interact with Motlow Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.


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