Canes' playoff chances suffer big blow

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The Cartersville softball team saw its chances to reach the Class 4A state tournament take a hit Tuesday at Cedartown.

Starting the second half of their Region 5-AAAA slate, the Canes suffered a 10-3 loss at the paws of the Bulldogs. The result makes both teams 3-4 in region play, but it flops the two in the standings with Cedartown now in fourth and Cartersville in fifth.

Cartersville (7-8 overall) took leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in its first two turns at bat only to have Cedartown respond each time.

The Canes got off to the perfect start with a pair of runs in the first inning. Cio Seigler and Anna Kate McElhaney, who each finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, singled to put two runners on base. Lauren McElhaney drove in the pair with a single of her own.

A trio of walks by Colbi Ballard in the bottom of the frame came back to haunt the Cartersville starter, as two runners scored on Cedartown's lone hit of the inning.

Emery Jenkins singled and scored in the second inning to give the Canes the lead once again, but that would be all the offense Cartersville could muster.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, scored in every inning but the fifth. They took the lead for good with two runs in the second. Cedartown put the game away slowly with two more in the third, one in the fourth and three in the sixth.

Ballard pitched the entire game, allowing nine earned runs on 11 hits and five walks. She struck out seven on the evening.

Cartersville has five region contests remaining to boost its postseason odds. The final home game of those five comes Thursday when Central-Carroll — currently second in the standings — visits town.