The Purple Hurricanes didn't have another double-digit run spree in their tank, but they grabbed a well-earned 5-2 victory over the rival Bulldogs.
Zach Ross, Michael Goss and Brandon Wells each led Cartersville with two hits, including a double apiece from both Ross and Goss. Michael Willard also had a double for his only hit, and Connor Justus and Tripp Jamieson singled for the Canes. Beau Benefield had a sacrifice fly for an RBI, while Ross, Wells and Willard added one RBI each as well.
Kendall Hawkins pitched all seven innings for the win, surrendering just three hits while striking out six Cedartown batters.
Cartersville scored in the top of the second to take an early lead before the Bulldogs managed to tie the game at 1-all in the fifth. The Canes added two more runs in the sixth, but Cedartown again pulled within one.
A pair of insurance runs poured in for Cartersville in the top of the seventh as the team went on to claim its fourth straight victory.
During spring break week, the Canes outscored Ridgeland, Dalton and Southeast Whitfield by 34 runs following 11-3, 10-0 and 17-1 victories, respectively. Cartersville (14-3, 11-2) now sits a game behind first-place Ringgold in the region and in front of Heritage-Catoosa and Allatoona, who both have three losses in region play.
The Canes' next game comes Thursday against visiting LaFayette. First pitch is scheduled for around 5:55 p.m.
Woodland tennis teams take two from Rome on senior night
With identical 3-2 victories over visiting Rome, Woodland's tennis teams made sure that senior night maintained a celebratory aura Monday night in Bartow County.
What had been a weakness for the Lady Wildcats much of the season reconfigured as a strength for the girls team in the first post-spring break match.
"For most of the season, I've relied on my singles [players]," Woodland girls coach Beth Heath said. "My doubles [teams] did well tonight. I'm proud of them. [They] stepped it up tonight and played their hearts out."
Lady Wildcat senior Madison Cowart picked up a win alongside No. 1 doubles partner Susy Beltran. The two defeated Zoey Myers and Sydney Simpson by a score of 6-0, 6-1.
Woodland's other doubles team also was successful, with Erin Hill and Bailee Smith taking care of business against Jenna Peace and Natalie Doss in a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 win.
The team's other seniors Veronica Munsey and Tinsley Wiley fell in their respective singles' matches. Munsey dropped a 6-0, 6-0 defeat to Abby Yearous, while Wiley lost to Georgia Doss 6-4, 4-6, 0-6.
Erin Marratta claimed a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Becky Matthews to help salvage things for the Lady Wildcats on the singles' side.
"It was tough. I was hoping some of them would play during the break on their own," Heath said. "Considering they were out all last week ... they came out fighting. They didn't want to end the season with such a horrible record. They wanted to win tonight."
It was the last home match for Munsey, Wiley and Cowart.
"It's bittersweet to see them leave," Heath said. "They're good girls, they're smart girls and they're gonna be very successful."
The victory was the first in four Region 7-AAAA matches for the Woodland girls, who close out the regular season Friday at Adairsville.
On the boys' side, the Wildcats earned two singles' wins and another on the doubles' side to nip the Wolves. Dustin Dodson was a 6-1, 6-0 winner; Chase Still held court at 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), and Corey Tobin and James Lester claimed a 6-2, 6-2 victory to help Woodland to its third region win in four matches.
Brandon Rutledge fell 2-6, 1-6, and R.J. Williams and Scott Groseclose lost by one set, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6.
"I think for us tonight, it was really about consistency. We were trying to focus on not making a lot of double faults," Woodland boys coach Kevin Tant said. "[We were] focusing on the shot making, really not trying to overkill [the ball]. ... We knew we could win if we played smart tennis not power tennis."
At No. 2 singles, Tant said it was a "little bit more difficult for us to handle those big serves" from Carter Hightower.
The Wildcats had one senior in Still, who has been with Tant all four of his years coaching the program.
"[It was] kind of a wonderful moment right there," he said. "[He] really contributed to the program."
Still is one of four players that have tied thus far for the most wins this season, helping Woodland to a No. 2 seed in its sub-region.
"I have four guys fighting for MVP of the team. ... they're all doing really well," Tant said of a group that also includes Monday's other winners.
Woodland heads to the county's northernmost school Friday for a 4:30 p.m. match, and Tant said there will be no overlooking Adairsville. But, he knows next week will be for all the marbles when the region tournament begins Wednesday at the Cherokee Tennis Center.
"Both teams really have to gear up for the region tournament because that's what it all comes down to," he added, noting the Wildcats play Lambert. "We're heading into [our match against] Lambert with as much confidence as we have had all year. ... We know that they're gonna be bringing everything [they have], and we have to step up."