The 3-1 victory by the Lady Wildcats over cross-county rival Cass evened Woodland’s 7A-AAAA record at 2-all and improved their overall record to 8-3.
The loss dropped the Lady Colonels to 2-4 and 1-2 in the same region. Casey Bucy picked up the win for Woodland and Courtney Bailey took the loss despite a commanding performance.
Woodland was credited with two errors and the Lady Colonels three on the night.
“It’s good to win anytime, but whether we’re playing Cass or Sequoyah or Rome, we’ve got to be ready to play,” Woodland coach Colman Roberts said. “They put us in a bunch of situations and we hesitated on a lot of things they’re coached every day to do. I don’t think we were relaxed, and we probably weren’t mentally ready to play.”
Cass coach Greg Hight said Cass improved its play in the game. “I told [our girls] considering how we played the last three games, tonight was a big step up, a big improvement. Woodland has been putting people away lately, and we came out here, and we scratched with them till the last out.”
Woodland scored in the top of the first inning, when Braselton scored the first of her two runs on a sacrifice fly by Bucy, helping her own cause.
The Lady Colonels answered in the bottom of the frame when Bailey crossed home plate on a Breanna Mahrt single. Bailey had gotten on by drawing a base on balls.
Woodland climbed back atop the top scoreboard in the second when Bailey Roberts singled her way on and rounded the bases helped by a sacrifice bunt, a stolen base and scored courtesy of a Cheyanne Burt single to right field.
The next six innings the Lady Wildcats beat back repeated Lady Colonel scoring opportunities — on an evening when they would leave nine runners on base.
Roberts said there were bright spots in the Woodland performance.
“Bucy pitched well and our defense got us out of a lot of big innings,” he said. “They left some runners on. Courtney Bailey pitched a great game and had us off balance just about all night. We worked for the runs we got. They’re well coached and they’re a good team.”
He said Braselton’s score was a big insurance run for the team.
“We want our older kids to step up and Taylor did. We’ve got to have everybody step up. We’ve got a big weekend against some of the toughest teams around in North Georgia. I’m proud of them, but I feel like we didn’t play very well.”
He said it was a bit of a gamble to let Braselton run on the seventh inning play.
“She’s one of our fastest kids. They had a shot at us. I knew that would be a big run. It was a gamble because we had two, three and four in our order coming up. It worked out this time.”
Hight said while Braselton’s score in the seventh inning was definitely a dagger, “we still had our opportunities there in the seventh. We were just a hit short.”
The Lady Colonels had runners on second and third in the final inning but did not get them across the plate.
Bucy pitched a complete game for the win, fanning three batters, walking two, allowing eight hits and giving up no earned runs.
Bailey struck out five, walked two and allowed just five hits and two earned runs on the mound for Cass.
Taylor Braselton went 1-4 and scored two runs. Lacy Fritz was 2-of-3 at the plate while Bucy went 0-2 but helped her cause with an RBI sacrifice fly. Bailey Roberts was 1-3 with a run and Cheyanne Burt was 1-of-3 with an RBI.
The Lady Wildcats next play in the Hillgrove-Allatoona Invitational today, with games against Ringgold at 6:45 p.m. and Hillgrove at 8:30 p.m.
Cass plays Saturday in the Allatoona Buccaneers Bash.