Bad day for Bartow playoff contenders
by Jason Greenberg
Sep 13, 2013 | 911 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thursday was a bad day for Bartow County softball teams in the playoff hunt. Both Cartersville and Woodland lost region games that could ultimately affect each team’s playoff positioning as they head down the home stretch of the season.

Canes lose on walk-off

The Cartersville softball team played Sonoraville back on Aug. 20 and defeated the Phoenix by a score of 8-0.

Thursday’s game between the two teams in Calhoun offered a very different outcome as Sonoraville walked off with a 4-3 win to hand the Lady Purple Hurricanes their third region loss of the season in a game in which they had five errors.

“Yeah, they did,” Cartersville coach Rick Holsomback said when asked if his girls took Sonoraville for granted after handily defeating the Phoenix in the first matchup. “They didn’t come ready to play. They didn’t come ready to fight. They have to have the heart and desire.”

Cartersville was leading 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. After a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second, Sonoraville’s leadoff hitter, Erin Whitlock, stepped up and hit a line drive to left field. The ball got past the Cartersville outfielder and rolled all the way to the wall. The speedy Whitlock scored without much of a play at the plate. Whitlock had two RBIs in the game and two runs scored to help account for all of Sonoraville’s runs.

“She’s very fast,” Holsomback said of Whitlock. “I’ve seen her play in travel ball and she’s a good player.”

The game went back and forth as Cartersville opened up the scoring in the first inning when Kennedy Bailey hit a single to drive in Maddie Geiger.

The poor defensive play for the Lady Canes began in the second and third innings when the team had three errors that led to Sonoraville taking a 2-1 lead.

“If you can’t play clean ball, it doesn’t matter who you play, you’re not going to win,” Holsomback said. “We didn’t make the right plays at the right time.”

The tables turned in the fifth when Sonoraville had two errors and two wild pitches to advance Lady Canes runners and help them score two runs in the inning.

Mallory Jackson came through with a pinch hit single up the middle to drive in the second run of the inning to make the score 3-2 in Cartersville’s favor.

The Canes could not extend the lead in the top of the sixth or seventh innings, despite having runners in scoring position in both.

As a result, the door opened for Whitlock’s heroics.

“We just have to regroup and have better attitudes and we’ll be alright,” Holsomback said of the loss. “It’s a team sport. We have to come together as a team, know each others’ roles, and support each other.”

For pitcher Annalyn Yantis, only one of the four runs were earned and she struck out six batters.

Cartersville is now 8-5 and 5-3 in its region. The team will take on Mount Pisgah Christian School today at 4:30 p.m. in the Warrior Classic.

Woodland drops first region game

The Woodland High softball team had yet to lose a region game until Thursday evening.

However, the Lady Wildcats fell short by a score of 4-1 on the road to a very good South Paulding team Thursday and now have three region games remaining on the schedule before playoffs begin.

Woodland jumped out to a first-inning lead and held it throughout most of the contest.

South Paulding would come back in the fifth inning and put up two runs, followed by two more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

Bailey Roberts and Ashley Jordan accounted for the two hits the team had.

Woodland had four errors in the game and will have to correct that before the team faces off against a very tough out-of-region opponent Saturday. The Lady Wildcats will take on Ringgold at Warner Park before returning to region play Tuesday when they host Allatoona.