'Cats split in final day of Buc Bash

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A narrow loss to South Paulding was the only blemish on an otherwise strong weekend for the Woodland High softball team at the Allatoona Buccaneer Bash tournament this weekend.

The Lady Wildcats went 3-1, beating Coffee and Armuchee Friday before splitting against Brunswick, an 8-2 win, and South Paulding, a 3-2 loss, Saturday.

Ansley Evans, Morgan Bailey and Caroline Higdon all had huge days in the two games to end the tournament.

The hits came early and often in the first game Saturday against Brunswick. Woodland scored two in the first inning, as Bella Carnes walked, Bailey singled and an error and groundout brought each of them home.

Brunswick scored one in the top of the second inning, but Woodland got it back in the third when Carnes walked and worked her way around the basepaths to score on Higdon's groundout, one of four RBI Higdon had in the game.

The fourth inning is when the game opened up, as the Lady Wildcats batted around and scored four runs. Carnes, Bailey and Evans hit consecutive bases-loaded, RBI singles before Higdon's sacrifice fly moved Woodland's lead to 7-1 after four innings.

The two teams traded one-run innings in the sixth, with Woodland's Bailey scoring after she singled, advanced on Evans' double and scored on Higdon's sac fly.

That gave the game its final of 8-2, with Sarah Baynard going the distance in the circle and earning the win for Woodland.

Carnes walked twice and scored three runs in the game from the leadoff spot, while Bailey and Evans each had three hits.

The second game Saturday against South Paulding nearly saw Woodland complete a perfect weekend, but two errors in the bottom of the fifth allowed the go-ahead run to score and hand the Lady Wildcats the 3-2 loss.

The game was close throughout, with Woodland taking the lead in the top of the first on Higdon's RBI single.

South Paulding tied it in the bottom of the first and then took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second.

Woodland tied the game again in the top of the fifth when Carnes, Bailey, Evans and Higdon hit four consecutive singles with one out in the inning. However, the Lady Wildcats stranded the bases loaded, and that would come back to haunt them because of South Paulding's run in the bottom of the fifth.

Woodland hit a couple of deep flyouts in the sixth and seventh while trying to even the score, but Evans was left stranded on second base to end the game with the Wildcats one run short.

Evans added two more hits in the game, while Higdon had three with both RBI. Bailey had one hit in the game to give her four between the two games Saturday.

Madi Bentley got the start in the circle for Woodland and threw four innings, allowing two runs with two strikeouts. She walked seven but was able to pitch out of multiple jams to keep the game close.

Lainey Baker pitched the rest of the game and did not allow an earned run.

The 3-1 weekend does well for Woodland's overall record, now at 6-5, and the Lady Wildcats will continue their push in Region 7-AAAAA when they return to the field at Villa Rica on Tuesday.