"We waited too late to start playing ball," said Sweeney, an assistant at D-B who was speaking for Indians head coach Andy Hubbard. "But you've got to tip your hat to Tennessee High for coming out fired up and being ready to play. They earned this game."
First-year THS coach Jenn Testa wasn't about to argue.
"One of the things I've been working on with this group is that I want them to play hard and not be so focused on the results," said Testa, who was head coach at King University the past 10 seasons.
"If at the end of the day the game ends up in the win column, that's great. But more than anything, I want them to make the statement ... if you're going to go onto the field against us, then we're gonna put up a fight."
NEW KID IN TOWN
Bailey Lamb, a transfer from crosstown rival Virginia High, held D-B in check virtually the entire game before running into trouble in the seventh inning.
A right-hander who went the distance to get the win, Lamb allowed three base hits and struck out five while walking nobody.
Lamb gave up a run in the seventh, but the junior escaped a major jam to claim the win, getting a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch to end the game with the bases loaded.
Kirsten Judd knocked in D-B's only run with a bases-loaded grounder for the second out of the seventh inning.
"It was nerve wracking for sure," Lamb said. "But I knew my D had my back."
Lamb avoided a potential game-tying base knock on a bases-loaded grounder down the third-base line with two outs, a ball that was just foul by inches.
"You could hear the collective groan and sigh from our dugout," Sweeney said.
THS GOES UP EARLY
Nikki Duncan blasted a one-out solo home run to center field in the second inning to give the unbeaten Vikings (4-0, 2-0) a 1-0 edge, but otherwise D-B pitcher Morgan Riffle turned in an terrific effort.
THS scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth following two D-B errors.
"Morgan had nine strikeouts and did a great job, but the errors and us leaving too many runners on base, well, you just can't do that," Sweeney said.
The Indians, now 1-1 in the Big Seven, scored just once in the seventh despite loading the bases with no outs on two singles and a THS error.