A winning streak of any sort would have been unimaginable a year ago when the Lady Purple Hurricanes suffered through a winless season but, as evidenced early on, Cartersville is far removed from that team.
“Our defense is making fewer errors. We’re doing the little things, and we’re seeing the ball well right now,” Lady Canes coach Rick Holsomback said. “The bottom of our order is picking it up. … We’ve been doing pretty well.”
Mallory Jackson, who has been one of Cartersville’s best hitters, added to her season’s work with a 2-for-4 night.
“Mallory Jackson’s hitting the ball real well right now,” Holsomback said. “She’s just been hitting the ball real steady all season.”
Other multi-hit contributions came from Tinsley Dobson (2 for 3, two RBIs), Tillery Tidwell (2 for 3, RBI) and Hunter Irvin (2 for 4, RBI). Madison Floyd went 1 for 4 and Annie Holsomback, who returned to the lineup, finished 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
Annalyn Yantis’ teammates gave her a five-run lead to work with following one run in the third inning and four in the fifth. Yantis did not give up an earned run — the Lady Panthers scored an unearned in the seventh — and struck out seven while giving up five hits and one walk.
Rick Holsomback noted that his team will not be able to enjoy the fruits of its labor too long with another region game coming up today.
“We need to refocus and hopefully [today] we’ll be focused on that game,” Holsomback said of the Lady Canes’ home game against Gilmer. “When you win, you enjoy it and [then] you’ve got to go back to work the next day.”
Cartersville (5-6, 3-3) goes for its fourth region win against the Lady Bobcats, who beat the Lady Canes 14-2 and 12-1 a year ago. Gilmer figures to see a different Cartersville team this go-round. The Lady Canes even look different than the team that began the season 0-3 with some tough luck.
“The first part of our year was the tough part of our schedule, and it’s really helping us out,” Holsomback said. “The girls are starting to realize their potential.”
Today’s game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.
Lady ’Cats lose home tri-match
Woodland’s volleyball team welcomed River Ridge and North Cobb Christian to Cartersville Monday for a tri-match. The Lady Wildcats lost both matches to the visitors, going down 14-25, 16-25 to the Lady Knights and 19-25, 15-25 to the Lady Eagles.
Dave Condon, Woodland’s coach, said his team is struggling to put points away.
“We played teams we could normally play with, and we lost ’em both. Our biggest problem right now is we just have difficulty scoring,” Condon said. “We’re just not doing a good enough job getting kills. … The girls are working hard, and they’re doing everything they can.”
The second-year head coach said his team lost its No. 1 outside hitter during the first match and its middle hitter to a season-ending injury at its second play-day. The Lady ’Cats’ outside hitter is expected back in the next few weeks. In the interim, Woodland is using players that are 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-3 to fill the void.
“It’s just very difficult when you’re playing teams that are bigger than you and you have a hard time scoring points on offense,” Condon said. “We’ll play ’em really close for the first 12 points and then they’ll just pull away.”
The team, Condon added, can pass well, noting that senior Johannah Nunez had 90 percent of Woodland’s touches.
“She passed unbelievably tonight,” the coach said.
However, the Lady ’Cats have not been able to turn many passes into points, despite their efforts.
Woodland (8-15, 1-1 Area 7-AAAA) returns to area play in its next outing, a home tri-match today with Northwest Whitfield and Kell. The tri-match is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.