Bryson City – A full calendar year from the time their 2020 season ended, the Lady Devils took the field friday to open their 2021 season. Rain played havac early in the week postponing their scheduled season opener against Murphy. The rain also forced Swain to flip home games with Cherokee to get the game in. The Lady Devils scored 3 runs in the fourth and went on to take a 4-1 win over Cherokee.
The game was evenly matched through the first three innings. Then in the bottom of the fourth the Lady Devils broke through with runs on the board. Savana Smith opened the frame with a solid single, followed by another single from Stacey Griggs. Kele Eagleman singled with one out to score Smith from second. Hannah Epperson singled scoring both Griggs and Amelia Clough, who was running for Kele Eagleman.
Swain would add another run in the 5th inning. Again it was Smith who reached base, this time on an error. Eagleman would drive Smith home with another single later in the inning.
Cherokee looked to rally in the 6th inning. A solid double opened the frame, which would be followed by a walk and a single to load the bases with no outs. For the Lady Devils senior pitcher Stacey Griggs appeared to have struck the next batter out, but catches interference was called allowing a run to cross for the Braves. Griggs settled in and struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
For the game Griggs picked up the win, working all 7 innings. She struck out 14 and walked 3 while giving up 5 hits.
At the plate Kele Eagleman and Hannah Epperson had a pair of hits and a pair of rbi each. Kay Johnson also had 2 hits for the Lady Devils.