On Tuesday, Adairsville head coach Jacob Travis got both as the youthful Lady Tigers pounded their way to a 6-1 lead through five complete innings then in the sixth surrendered four runs and had to hold on in order to open their regular season with a win at home against Armuchee.
It was a very big win for the Lady Tigers since they were hosting a sub-region foe and that gave them a 1-0 mark in Region 7A-AA. Overall their record is 2-5 after playing six games in the Lady Blue Devils Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday.
Travis saluted the Lady Indians for making a game of it after being down 6-1 at Tiger Valley.
“They showed a lot of character coming back like they did. We showed a lot of character, too, by holding on for a win.”
Adairsville scored first, when Erika Cannon drove in Morgan Creel, as the Lady Tigers were up 1-0 after two innings.
The home team turned opportunistic in the third inning when Baylee Edwards singled her way on base, them stole second on the first pitch tossed to Taylor Weeks. She moved to third on a passed ball to Cassidy Howren, then scored when Mallorie Collum drew a passed ball. Howren scored the team’s third run when Cannon was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
In the fifth inning, Howren and Collum were driven in by Creel and Hannah Kirkpatrick scored on a sacrifice by Cannon, widening Adairsville’s lead to 6-1.
In the top of the sixth, the Lady Indians struck back and Adairsville showed some inexperience in the outfield, letting the visitors score four runs before pitching ace Taylor Weeks slammed the door on the comeback with an emphatic strikeout.
The Lady Tigers were unable to pad their lead in the bottom of the frame but they held serve in the top of the seventh as Weeks fanned the first batter and the second was called out for a violation at the plate. A third batter managed a single but the final batter flied out to leftfielder McKennon Gulledge, a freshman, giving the Indians a victory to open their sub-region play.
“I wish we could just give them experience but there’s only one way they can get it,” Travis said. “They have to play.”
He said he’s grateful, though, to pick up a sub-region win anyway the Lady Tigers can get it. “We just have to learn how to hold on to a lead.”
The Lady Tigers started three freshmen Tuesday, a number that will likely go down as several injured Adairsville players work their way back into the lineup. Travis said the freshmen contributed to the victory.
He noted the base running of Edwards, a speedster. “She’s a threat to get on base anytime the ball hits the ground. She can make a lot of things happen when she gets on the base path.”
He also saw a good pitching performance by Weeks, adding she stayed focused despite the near comeback by Armuchee and some weak fielding.
“She didn’t let that bother her,” he said. “She got two years of solid experience behind her and she doesn’t let things like that get to her.”
Weeks picked up the win for Adairsville, working seven innings with eight strikeouts, two walks, seven hits and allowing three earned runs.
Collum was 1-for-2 with a walk; Creel was 1-of-1 with a walk and two RBIs after being hit by a pitch; Cannon was 0-2, hit by pitch and three RBIs; Edwards, 2-for-3 with an infield hit and a run.
Adairsville stranded five baserunners throughout the evening.
The Lady Tigers will return to the softball diamond Thursday when it hosts Gordon Central at 5 p.m.