Spring Fling teams and athletes learning about adversity and pressure

It evidently was a bad trip to Murfreesboro for Haywood head baseball coach Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes was ejected during Wednesday's game with Sequatchie after heatedly protesting an umpire's call. (Image: WTVC)

Every team and individual participating in Spring Fling of course wants to win a state championship.

But the road to one is long.

Each athlete may run into a life skill moment - learning to deal with adversity and coping with pressure, specifically when they play in elimination games.

The Sale Creek Lady Panthers faced a buzz saw in the Summertown Lady Eagles Wednesday evening. Summertown won 10-0 in a "run rule" game called after five innings.

Sale Creek must win its next game to continue its magical season. Coach Clifford Kirk put it this way, "You gotta go beat somebody. You gotta beat somebody to make them realize they can beat someone. Right now, they're down, I'm sure they're down. I am also."

The Sequatchie County Lady Indians softball team found itself in the same position. Not a single young woman on this team has ever played at Spring Fling. It's been five years since the Lady Indians made it to state. McKenzie Turner was sensational in the circle throwing 18 strikeouts. They defeated Alcoa 7-0 and answered the challenge.

Head coach Kelly Somerville said being in this position is all about perspective. "Don't think about what's riding on the line. Think about doing your one job in that moment. And I think they did an excellent job of staying focused on their one job in that moment was and getting it done," Somerville said.

The Baylor Lady Red Raiders did what it always seems to do. They advance to the championship round with a 4-3 walkoff victory over GPS.

The Baylor Red Raiders baseball team has yet to be scored on in two games at Spring Fling. On Wednesday, the Red Raiders defeated Christian Brothers 3-0. If Baylor wins its game Thursday, they will be state champions. The same is true for the softball team.

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