BEREA — Tessa Juett had to battle through trouble in each of the first three innings of Tuesday's season-opening matchup with long-time rival Madison Central.
Still, she managed to give up just one unearned run.
"I was a little bit shaky," Juett said. "I got better toward the end."
Juett certainly finished strong.
The senior retired 14 of the final 16 batters she faces — including 12 strikeouts — and also hit a three-run home run as the Lady Eagles picked up a 9-1 win over Central. Southern scored four times in the fifth and sixth innings to blow up a tie game.
Breanna Dawes was 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and scored twice. Samantha Cornelison was 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored twice.
Back on the field together for the first time since the 11th Region championship on May 29, 2019, the Lady Eagles fell behind early on Tuesday.
Central's Maggie Rose led off the third with a walk and later came around to score on an error.
That lead didn't last long.
Dawes homered to center in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.
Juett struck out the side in the fourth and Southern re-gain the lead an inning later. Dawes, Cornelison and Sage Jackson each had run-scoring hits as the Lady Eagles went up 5-1.
Cornelison singled home a run in the sixth before Juett delivered a drive over the center field fence.
"I'm always thinking home run, to be honest," Juett said. "It was my pitch and I knew I was going to hit it."
Juett struck out the side again in the sixth, then added two more strikeouts in the seventh. The senior allowed five hits, four walks and had 15 strikeouts.
"I felt really good getting those strikeouts and having my teammates cheering for me," Juett said. "That really gets me going and wanting more (strikeouts)."
Katelyn Bolin and Alysa McAfee were both 1-for-3 and scored a run. Macie Hill also scored a run.
Skylar Jacobs and Macalia Morin each had doubles for Central. Cassidy Hackm Rose and Haley Sebastian had the only other hits for the Lady Indians.
Jasmine Kaylor started in the circle for Central. She went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and three runs with five strikeouts. Cassidy Gentry pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, six runs (one earned) with two strikeouts.
Central is set to return to action Thursday at Pulaski County.
Southern is set to return to action Thursday at home against South Laurel.
Lady Patriots top Williamsburg
The Lady Patriots (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss with a big win Tuesday at home.
Model had 12 hits, including a 3-for-3 performance by Anniston Bray, and rolled past Williamsburg, 11-5. The game was tied 4-4 after three innings, but the Lady Patriots scored six times in the fifth inning.
Model opened the season on Monday with a 16-10 loss at Henry Clay.
On Tuesday, four Lady Patriots had more than one hit.
McKenna Tuttle was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Kenzie Ferguson was 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice. Haley Hollis was 2-for-2 with a double and scored three times.
Bray also had a walk, a triple, two RBI and scored twice.
Avery Tuttle was 1-for-3 with a walk and scored a run. Hannah Smith was also 1-for-3 with a walk and scored once. Camilie Dyer was 1-for-4 and scored a run.
Alana Asbill scored once.
Hollis started in the circle and went 1 1/3 innings, allowing two hit, two runs and four walks, with two strikeouts. Smith pitched the final 5 2/3 innings, allowing one hit, three runs (none earned) and three walks with seven strikeouts.
Model is set to return to action Thursday at Eminence.