Cass softball lets late lead slip away

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The Cass offense led by Eryn Lee had Villa Rica on the ropes in the two teams' Region 7-AAAAA season opener Monday.

But the Colonels couldn't find a pitcher to keep the Wildcats offense at bay, sending four different players to the circle with little success, in an 11-9 road defeat to begin Cass' season on a sour note.

The Colonels took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning after the first five hitters of the game reached. Rachael Lee provided a key two-run double in the frame.

Villa Rica got a run back in the bottom of the second. But Cass responded in its next turn at bat with Keturah Redding scoring on a passed ball to restore the three-run advantage.

A pair of runs in the home half of the third narrowed the Wildcats deficit, and a two-run homer by Kali Barbour in the next inning gave the home team a 5-4 edge.

In the top of the fifth, Eryn Lee came up clutch with the bases loaded. She drilled a bases-clearing triple and came home on a passed ball for an 8-5 lead.

It took little time for Villa Rica to knot the score at 8-8. Three walks and an error proved devastating in the bottom of the fifth. The Wildcats put up another three-spot in the sixth to regain the lead for good.

Cass didn't go down without a fight, though.

Haley Smith doubled to open the seventh, and Kelly Young singled her home to pull the Colonels within 11-9. Eryn Lee, who finished with two runs scored and three RBI, picked up her fourth hit of the game in the inning. However, an out on the base-paths and a flyout ended the threat.

Kylee Hembree started at pitcher for Cass and went 2 1/3 innings. She allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks. Barbour got the win in relief for Villa Rica, despite allowing five runs over four innings.

Cass returns to the diamond today and Thursday with home games against region foes Rome and Kell, respectively.