The Woodland softball team didn't blow out Rome on Thursday, but the Wildcats still managed to earn another Region 7-AAAAA win. The 6-2 triumph over the visiting Wolves gives the Wildcats four consecutive region victories after opening the season with back-to-back losses.
Rome entered the game winless in region play and having been routed in most of those contests. But the Wolves gave their timber-dwelling brethren fits on Thursday.
A single run in the top of the first gave Rome an early lead, and Woodland wasted a chance to answer in the home half after loading the bases with one out.
The Wildcats (8-5) did answer back in the second inning, though. Skylar Chappell walked and Hannah Miller singled to put two runners on with no outs. Bella Carnes drove in courtesy runner Kailey Baker with a groundout, and Morgan Bailey followed with an RBI single.
Woodland starter Madi Bentley ran into trouble in the fourth inning and failed to escape the jam. Overall, she allowed three hits and three walks with one strikeout.
A fielder's choice groundout allowed Rome to tie the game at 2-2. After a two-out walk loaded the bags, Lainey Baker came on in relief and struck out the first batter she faced.
Baker pitched outstanding the rest of the way. She tossed the final 3 1/3 innings, striking out five and allowing just one hit and one walk.
Her performance gave Woodland, which left 11 runners on base, a chance to scratch across a few runs to grab the late win.
Caroline Higdon, who finished 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, scored the go-ahead run on a single by Jordan Duck in the fifth inning.
The following frame, Carnes and Bailey reached to kick things off. The duo, who each finished 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI, scored insurance runs later in the inning. Ansley Evans, who was 2-for-4 with a run, singled to the load the bases.
That's when Higdon and Duck, who wound up 3-for-4 with two RBI, both singled home a run for a 5-2 advantage. Evans scored on a Kendyl Hardin sacrifice fly to set the final margin.
Lainey Baker ensured there would be no Rome rally with a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Woodland will face Adairsville in the opening round of the Bartow County Championships at 5 p.m. Friday at Hamilton Crossing.
Wildcat volleyball swept at Allatoona
The Woodland volleyball team got brought back down to earth in its final tuneup for Region 7-AAAAA play.
Thursday's tri-match at Allatoona turned into a reality check for the Wildcats with Sonoraville and the hosts handing Woodland two-set losses.
The Phoenix cruised to 25-16 and 25-9 wins. The Buccaneers produced results of 25-14 and 25-12. Overall, Woodland (8-8) was outscored on the evening 100-51.
The Wildcats will head to Villa Rica Tuesday to play, along with Paulding County, to begin region action.