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SPRING FLING -- Friendship plays TKA

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Hannah Alexander / STEVE WAMPLER photo

A pair of longtime rivals square off Wednesday morning as the TSSAA Spring Fling softball tournament opens on Field No. 3 at Murfreesboro's StarPlex.

Friendship Christian School (21-11) will take on The King's Academy (25-3) at 10 a.m. in the four-team, double-elimination tournament.

The programs have alternated winning the last two championships. TKA defeated Friendship twice in the 2016 finals to win the crown.

Friendship came out of the loser's bracket in 2015 to top The King's Academy for the title.

Back on April 10 in Lebanon, the Lady Lions swept a doubleheader from Friendship 10-2 and 14-10.

The other side of the bracket finds Davidson Academy (33-9) playing Donelson Christian Academy (16-9).

Wednesday's winners will meet 10 a.m. Thursday while Wednesday's losers will face a 4 p.m. Wednesday elimination game.

Tournament finals are scheduled for Friday.

FCS earns another state bid -
JACKSON -- Friendship Christian wasted little time in punching their ticket for a third consecutive berth in the TSSAA's Spring Fling next week in Murfreesboro.

The Lady Commanders stunned West Region champ University School of Jackson 7-0 and 11-2 Thursday to sweep the best-of-three series.

Game 1 found FCS jumping on the Lady Bruins in the top of the first thanks to an RBI sacrifice fly by Brice Dabbs and a three-run homer off the bat of Hannah Alexander that staked pitcher Kennedy West to a 4-0 lead.

West took care of business the rest of the way, throwing a complete game four-hitter, striking out eight with only one walk.

For good measure, Friendship tacked on single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings and finished with 11 hits.

Alexander added an RBI double to go with her homer. Annalise Jarnigan went 3-for-4 and scored three times while Riley Walker had a single and an RBI double.

Thursday's Game 2 was much more of the same as the Lady Commanders ripped USJ pitching for 13 hits.

Friendship set the tone early once again, scoring five in the first and three in the second.

Jarnigan got thing going with a one-out double in the first, then scored on Walker's booming double. After a steal of third, Walker scored on a wild pitch.

Sydney McCormick drew a walk, then Alexander was hit by a pitch. Both came home ahead of a line drive HR to left by Bayley West.

West finished with three hits while Cameron Burton, Walker, Jarnigan and Brooke Eakes had two hits apiece.

Kennedy West went the full seven in the nightcap, allowing six hits, striking out six and walking two.

The Lady Commanders, now 21-11 on the season, will open play in the state tournament Wednesday in Murfreesboro.

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Bayley West, Friendship Christian softball, Hannah Alexander, Kennedy West, Lady Commanders, Riley Walker, Starplex, The King's Academy, TKA, TSSAA Spring Fling, University School of Jackson, USJ
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