It didn’t take long for Kylee Wolfe to crush home run No. 1 of her collegiate softball career.
The former Sullivan East High School star connected for a pinch-hit blast for Chattanooga State Community College in a 5-4 loss to Central Alabama on Feb. 7. Wolfe jumped all over a pitch from Asia McWaters in the sixth inning.
“I knew I had to produce in some way,” Wolfe said. “As soon as I hit it I knew it was gone and that’s always a good feeling.”
Count Chattanooga State coach Blythe Golden among those impressed.
“She gave our team a much-needed boost in that moment,” Golden said. “Home runs are always fun, but having it be your first collegiate game and in your first at-bat was very special.”
Going yard is nothing new to Wolfe. She hit 19 home runs last season at East and homered in her first exhibition game of the fall against Carson-Newman.
“As a hitter, Kylee has the potential to hit for power and has very fast hands,” Golden said. “I think she will continue to elevate her offensive skills throughout the season as she faces more pitchers. She is someone we are going to lean on offensively to drive runs in for our team.”
Wolfe is 2-for-11 with four RBIs thus far for the Tigers.
“Playing at the college level has been really fun,” Wolfe said. “We’re all here for a purpose and everyone is just as good as you are.”
Gray does great
Lipscomb University’s softball team is 2-1 and senior pitcher Megan Gray (Honaker) is responsible for both of those victories.
After earning a win over Western Kentucky on Saturday, the right-hander nearly tossed a perfect game on Sunday in a 1-0 blanking of the College of Charleston Cougars. Brittany Vicary’s single to start the bottom of the first inning was the only baserunner the Cougars could muster against Gray.
Gray struck out five and is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA. The weekend performance helped her earn Atlantic Sun Conference pitcher of the week honors.
“She got in a groove and continued to roll,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said in a press release issued by the school. “She was hitting her spots. She was consistently getting ahead in the count. She was attacking hitters. She went right at them. She was very confident.”
Ervin out for Elon
Elon University freshman Zac Ervin underwent surgery for a broken hand on Feb. 5 and is out indefinitely for the school’s men’s basketball team.
The sharpshooter from Gate City High School was averaging 8.4 points and 1.8 rebounds at the time of the injury and had started 15 of the 24 games he’d played for the Phoenix of the Colonial Athletic Association.
“The way Zac is and his mentality, we think we’ll have him back as soon as possible,” Elon coach Mike Schrage told the Burlington Times News. “His right hand is golden shooting the ball, so don’t think I’m not going to be smart at the same time. I don’t want him to have any more issues.”
More on Martin
Darrin Martin (Graham) is averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game for the men’s basketball team at West Virginia Tech.
More on Mac
A foot injury has caused former Gate City High School star Mac McClung to miss the last three games for the men’s basketball team at Georgetown University.
McClung is averaging 16.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Hoyas, who return to the court on Saturday at Butler in a 2:30 p.m. game that will be televised nationally by FOX.
Local vs. Local
Milligan College earned a 70-62 Appalachian Athletic Conference women’s basketball win over Bluefield on Feb. 5 and a trio of players from Southwest Virginia fared well.
Kaely Gose (Gate City) flirted with a triple-double for Milligan as she finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. Hannah Wyrick (Eastside) also keyed the win with 11 points and three rebounds.
Tianna Crockett (George Wythe) led the way for Bluefield as she stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 15 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Freshman Gabe Fiser (Grundy) contributed a win to Coe College’s 34-9 win over Cornell College on Feb. 7 in a wrestling dual match. Fiser posted a 10-3 decision over Casey Allen in the 157-poiund weight class.
Large makes ODAC splash
Roanoke College freshman swimmer Kim Large earned first team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors after a busy weekend in the pool.
Over the course of four days at the ODAC championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, Large had a second-place finish in the women’s 50 freestyle (24.00 seconds), placed fourth in the 100 freestyle (52.70 seconds) and touched the wall in sixth in the 100 butterfly (59.09 seconds).
The ex-Abingdon High School standout was also a member of the runner-up 200 freestyle, 400 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, as well as the third-place 200 medley relay team.
Runner-up for Barnett
Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Justin Barnett had a successful Sunday.
The Union High School graduate earned a runner-up finish in the men’s shot put at the Vince Brown Invitational in Newport News, Virginia. His top heave was 13.75 meters (45-01 ½).
Barnett’s top mark in the weight throw was 12.45 meters (43-10 ¼) as he placed eighth.
Top-five for Hazelwood
Ben Hazelwood (Virginia High) recorded a fifth-place finish in the men’s 3,000-meter run on Saturday at the Keck Division III Select Invitational track and field meet in Bloomington, Illinois.
Competing for Rhodes College, Hazelwood clocked in at 9:08.17.
Radford University opened the spring portion of its women’s tennis schedule with a 7-0 win over the University of Virginia’s College at Wise on Sunday and Tyler Blalock contributed to the victory.
The former Abingdon High School star dispatched Grace Hall 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.
Marshall wins for Mocs
Jacob Marshall (Tennessee High) has won his last six matches for the men’s tennis team at Chattanooga.
The junior for the Mocs recorded a 6-3, 6-4 victory over UNC Asheville’s Quinn Fender on Sunday. That came two days after a thrilling 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Vincent Sterkens of Belmont.
Overall, Marshall has an 8-7 record at singles this season.
Hooker hits the links
High Point University sophomore Adam Hooker (Lebanon) finished 24th out of 64 competitors at a golf tournament hosted by Georgia Southern on Feb. 2 and 3.
Hooker had a three-day total of 224, eight-over par, after rounds of 78, 73 and 73.
Chase Roswall, a Bristol, Tennessee, resident who attended the Baylor School in Chattanooga for four years, finished tied for seventh on the individual leaderboard. The University of Tennessee golfer totaled a 216 thanks to rounds of 71, 69 and 76.
Tennessee High graduate Jet Tickle also competed for UT, finishing tied for 36th after carding scores of 85, 72 and 74.