After beginning the tournament at the Twin Creeks Softball Complex with two losses last Friday — which brought its losing streak to 12 games — Cass responded by reeling off three straight victories. The Lady Colonels defeated Creekview, avenged a defeat to Cherokee and held down Bowdon before losing to Gilmer in the bronze championship game.
“I’m hoping maybe Saturday is [the] turnaround [point] in our season. The girls came out and had fun together,” Cass coach Greg Hight said. “I thought the last seven or eight games we’ve been hitting the ball real well.”
In the Lady Colonels’ first win of the tournament — a 7-5 victory last Saturday over the Lady Grizzlies, who won Region 7-AAAA and made it to the Elite Eight last year — Kiyana Farmer collected three hits; Hope Fetzer, Bethany Ballard, Ashlynn Russell and Camey Kirkland all had two; and Allison Story and Kelsey Holoway added one each.
Courtney Bailey struck out three and gave up four earned runs, eight hits and one walk in the win.
Cass followed up that win by paying back the Lady Warriors, who earned a shutout victory over the Lady Colonels on Aug. 27.
“[We] got revenge against them. They beat us 11-0 two weeks ago,” Hight said of his team’s incentive in its 9-5 win against the Lady Warriors.
Cass scored seven runs in the fifth inning to put Cherokee away.
Lynnsey Holifield started the game for the Lady Colonels, going 3 1/3 innings, while Story picked up the win by going the rest of the way.
Kirkland led Cass with three hits, Holoway and Fetzer added two hits each, and Russell, Bailey, Ballard, Story, Breanna Mahrt and Farmer each had a hit.
“Everybody in the lineup had a hit that game,” Hight said.
The win moved the Lady Colonels into the bronze bracket, where they faced Bowdon right out of the gate.
Getting its best pitching performance of the weekend, Cass got a complete-game effort out of Bailey, who struck out five and gave up four hits with no walks and no earned runs in a 5-1 victory.
Leading hitters for the Lady Colonels were Ballard, Fetzer and Mahrt with two each, and Kirkland, Story and Holoway with one each.
In the bronze championship game, both Cass and the Lady Bobcats dealt with a long delay.
“We had a little wait there, and it kind of took the blow out of our sails,” said Hight, whose team was playing in its fourth game of the day.
Bailey led the Lady Colonels with a pair of hits and Story, Holoway, Mahrt, Fetzer, and Ally Ledford added one hit apiece, but Gilmer left with the third-place crown after its 9-3 win.
Cass lost 9-4 to East Hall and 9-2 to Blessed Trinity last Friday. Kirkland had two hits and Bailey, Ballard, Mahrt and Farmer chipped in with one each against the Lady Vikings. In the nightcap, Kirkland and Russell paced the Lady Colonels with two hits apiece, and Bailey, Mahrt, Holoway, Story and Fetzer all had one hit.
While the offense played much better, Hight also praised his team’s defense as well as the pitching it got from Bailey, Story and Holifield.
“Our defensive play was better than it has been in the past,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”
Hight noted that he told his team its play in the second half determines “if you go on or you don’t,” in regard to the playoffs.
“If we’re gonna peak, I’d rather peak late than early,” he continued.
The Lady Colonels (5-13) host county rival Adairsville (5-14) today at 5:55 p.m.