Ballard's big game, Edwards' clutch single leads Lady Canes to season-opening win; Lady Tigers fall to North Murray


The Cartersville High softball team's season started off twice as nice as usual.

Not only did the Lady Canes win their opener, 5-4, but they also beat a region foe in Cedartown, portending good things for Cartersville this season.

The game was an exciting one, too, with the game being tied on three different occasions before the Canes eventually prevailed thanks to a two-run fifth inning.

Presley Edwards had the big hit in the bottom of the fifth with her two-run single to score Colbi Ballard and Lauren McElhaney, who both singled earlier in the frame.

Edwards' hit gave the Canes a 5-3 lead, and Cedartown's lone run in the top of the sixth wasn't enough to spoil Cartersville's opener.

However, Cartersville couldn't shake Cedartown for much of the game. After Ballard's RBI triple in the first inning, Cedartown tied the game with a run in the top of the third.

Cartersville took back the lead in the bottom of the third when Hope Short doubled and scored on Lauren McElhaney's single, and then took a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the fourth when Rylie Harris singled and worked around the bases for a run.

Cedartown came back again, though, this time with two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game again.

That set the stage for the big inning in the bottom of the fifth for Cartersville. Cio Siegler, Ballard and McElhaney all singled in the frame. Seigler was thrown out on the basepaths on a failed bunt, but Ballard and McElhaney were able to score from second and first base, respectively, on Edwards' single.

Ballard closed out what was a stellar all-around game by pitching out of a jam with two runners in scoring position and one out in the seventh. She struck out a batter for the second out, and then induced a fly out to center field for the last out to leave two runners stranded.

Ballard went the distance in the circle with five strikeouts, while going 2-for-2 at the plate and reaching base in all three of her plate appearances.

Seigler and McElhaney added two hits, while Short hit two doubles.

Cartersville will look to build off Thursday's exciting finish when the team returns to action against Darlington at home on Saturday.

North Murray 4, Adairsville 0

For most of the game Thursday, the Adairsville High softball team was able to match North Murray.

However, a rough start in which the Mountaineers scored three runs in the first and one in the second eventually did in the Lady Tigers by a final score of 4-0.

Sophomore Victoria O'Neal came on to pitch in relief with two runners on base and no outs in the second inning, allowing an inherited runner to score, but not allowing any runs herself for the rest of the game. She finished with eight strikeouts in six innings.

The Tigers struggled to produce offensively, though. Alexa Varner had the team's lone hit and Adairsville was only able to get a runner in scoring position with one out or less once.

Adairsville coach Amanda Nelson said her team hit some line drives to left field, but North Murray's outfield made some good plays to keep the Tigers off the board.

Adairsville is now 1-1 overall and in Region 6-AAA, and will take on Sonoraville in another region game at home on Tuesday.