The Woodland Lady Wildcats bided their time before hitting Paulding County with a knockout punch Tuesday in a 7-1 win at home.
Woodland went into the bottom of the sixth up just 2-1, but sent 10 hitters to the plate in the inning, scoring five runs to give pitcher Sarah Baynard a good cushion for the seventh.
Baynard, facing off against Paulding’s North Georgia commit Abbie Crawford, one of the best pitchers in the region, threw a complete game to lead her team.
“[Baynard] can throw her offspeed stuff for strikes,” Woodland coach Colman Roberts said.
“I wish she’d get ahead in the count more, make me not have gray hair, but she does a good job. She’s a smart pitcher.”
Woodland loaded the bases with no outs in the first and Bella Carnes scored on a wild pitch, but that would be all the Lady Wildcats got as Crawford struck out three of the next four hitters.
Paulding County tied it up in a wild top of the third.
Autumn Romines singled and was sacrificed to second.
Audrey Morris made a sliding catch in center for the second out, but Baynard walked the next two hitters to load the bases.
The next play brought the craziness, as Lexi Brendel singled to right to score the tying run.
The trail runner advanced too far around third base, and Woodland catcher Skylar Chappell threw the ball off of third baseman Jordan Duck’s glove and into left field trying to catch her.
When she stepped off the base, hesitated, and was slow getting back to the base, Madgie Robinson’s alert throw to Duck caught her for the third out on a play scored 9-2-5-7-5.
The play would hurt the Lady Patriots, as Woodland took back a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the bottom of the inning when Caroline Higdon doubled home Morgan Bailey.
Paulding had a chance to tie in the top of the sixth, but Duck’s good throw to the plate cut down a runner after a leadoff double and passed ball.
“When they play solid defense and put the ball in play, we’re pretty good,” Roberts said.
In the bottom of the inning, the Lady Wildcats made sure that they wouldn’t have rely on good defense and Paulding baserunning errors to keep their lead safe.
Morris led off by reaching second on an error.
It looked like she would be stranded there after two quick outs, but Ansley Evans singled her home, staying on a tough high pitch from Crawford and chopping it back up the middle.
That opened the floodgates. Higdon singled, Brittany Cox reached on a dropped third strike, Duck singled and Chappell walked.
Pinch hitter Morgan Cooper singled home the last run of the inning before Morris, who had started it all, grounded out to shortstop Baynard walked one in the top of the seventh, but three good plays by Cox at shortstop ended the game to give Woodland a crucial region win.
“Everybody played a part,” Roberts said. “We had some timely hitting. ... I’m happy, I thought we played well.”
The Lady Wildcats will be right back in action today for a home intracounty matchup against Cartersville at 5:30 p.m.
Cass softball extends losing streak
Cass softball is in a rut.
After a 10-4 loss to East Paulding Tuesday, the Lady Colonels have lost five games in a row.
In those games, they have scored just 12 runs and been shut out twice.
In Tuesday’s game, they jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and did not score again.
The East Paulding hitters figured out how to beat Cass pitcher Haley Owens, scoring in five consecutive innings.
Owens pitched the whole game, and allowed 13 hits and 10 runs, six of which were earned, as errors plagued the Lady Colonels — they had a staggering six total.
Owens was responsible for one of the team’s three RBIs — Sarah Fox, who went 1-for-4, had the other two.
It’s been a matter of getting things going at the plate for the Lady Colonels.
Two shutouts in five games isn’t going to lead to success, and at 1-11, they’ll need to figure something out if they hope to salvage their season.
Next up is a game against Carrollton Thursday.
Adairsville loses to Haralson
Adairsville softball mustered just a run in a 4-1 loss to Haralson County Tuesday.
They are now 6-5 on the year and 2-4 in the region.
The Lady Tigers will next face off against Sonoraville on Thursday.