HRs, Baynard's CG lead 'Cats to big region win

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The Woodland High softball team entered Tuesday looking up at Villa Rica in the Region 7-AAAAA standings, but the two teams flipped after the Lady Wildcats' big 8-0 win at Villa Rica.

Woodland is now tied for fourth in the region and sit just one game back of second-place East Paulding. It's still early in the season. The region standings will fluctuate through the month of September, but Tuesday's win could be one the Lady Wildcats look back on at the end of the year as making a difference in seeding for the region tournament.

Woodland combined two two-out home runs at the plate Tuesday with a shutout performance from pitcher Sarah Baynard. The senior threw a complete game while allowing seven hits. As per usual, she did not register many strikeouts, four, but utilized impeccable control— no walks and a 66 percent strike rate — to keep the softball playable for her defense.

With the win, Baynard's ERA now stands at 2.17 and she's walked just two batters in 18 innings pitched during region play.

Baynard received plenty of run support, as well, mostly through big innings in the third and fourth via the long ball. The Wildcats scored four in the third inning on Hannah Miller's grand slam to left field. Ansley Evans and Caroline Higdon singled to lead off the inning, and after two outs failed to advance the runners, Kendyl Hardin was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Miller's big fly.

Hardin was responsible for the dinger in the next inning, driving home Evans and Jordan Duck after the pair singled. The home run once again came with two outs in the inning.

Woodland tacked on one final run for good measure in the seventh, as Miller singled to lead off and scored two at bats later on Bella Carnes' double.

Woodland is now 7-5 overall and 3-2 in region play. The Lady Wildcats will return home Thursday in another region game against Rome before the Bartow County Championships Friday and Saturday.