Warlassies playing winning softball down the stretch

Owen 7-2 in the Western Highlands Conference with some games left

Fred McCormick

You don't have to be a softball expert to know the Owen Warlassies are good. The team allowed a total of 10 runs in the entire month of April.

As the regular season winds down with four games remaining on the schedule, the Warlassies are trying to secure second place in the Western Highlands Conference behind undefeated Madison High School.

Heading into the month of May, the Warlassies had won their last three, and four of their last five. Over the course of that three-game winning streak they beat opponents by a combined score of 44-0. That stretch also put the Warlassies in sole possession of second place in the conference.

Owen senior Anissa Avila, who committed to play softball at East Tennessee State University next season, rounds second base as she legs out a triple at home against Hendersonville.

The last loss for Owen came at the hands of Madison High on April 18. It was their second of the year against the Patriots, a team that was 20-0 as of May 1. That was also the last team to score a run against the Warlassies that month.

The Warlassies bounced back from that loss with their second-biggest scoring output of the season, a 22-0 route over Avery in Newland on April 20. Junior pitcher Jaiden Tweed struck out 10 while fellow juniors Ashley Valencia and Caitlyn Ledford combined to drive in 10 runs.

Junior Jaiden Tweed made a rare start at shortstop for the Warlassies when they hosted Hendersonville on April 25. Owen outscored the Bearcats 14-0.

Owen returned home to host Hendersonville five nights later and gave the ball to Ledford on the mound for her first start of the season. She pitched five innings and struck out nine Bearcats as Owen outscored Hendersonville 14-0. The game was Valencia's second consecutive game with four RBIs.

The Warlassies weren't finished shutting out opponents. They blanked Mountain Heritage 8-0 on the road the next night. Tweed hit her sixth home run of the season, tying her for the second-most in WNC with three other players. She also continued to be a force on the mound, where she was 9-3 with a 2.06 ERA entering the month of May. Her 127 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched gave her the highest strikeouts to innings pitched ratio (1.87) in the region.

The Warlassies were scheduled to host Mountain Heritage on May 1 (results not available as of press time), but rainy weather put that game in jeopardy. Road games against Mitchell and Polk will close out the conference season for Owen before the Warlassies return home to host rival Reynolds for the final game of the regular season.