Unfortunately for Cartersville, region rival Ringgold was that team Thursday night as the Canes took a 4-3 loss, partially due to mistakes on the basepaths.
“[Ringgold] didn’t make any mistakes and we made three. We really should have won the game,” Cartersville coach Rick Holsomback said. “If we play clean ball, we win that game.”
The base running errors were especially detrimental to Holsomback’s team because of the quality of opponent. Ringgold has made the State AAA Elite 8 in each of the past three seasons and features one of the best players in the state, Tenneseee-bound Devan Brown.
Brown went 2-for-2 with a single, a home run and two walks in the game.
“They are well-coached and we have to give it to them,” Holsomback said of Ringgold. “They’re a great team and always have been.”
Ringgold was able to capitalize on a Cartersville error, two passed balls and two hits in the fith inning to score three runs and put the Canes at a four-run defecit.
However, Cartersville would come back strong in the bottom of the fifth and score three runs of their own.
Kailah Rain came through with two outs in the inning as her base hit drove home Maddie Geiger. After Mallory Jackson was hit by a pitch, Kennedy Bailey stepped to the plate and delivered an infield single to score Tillery Tidwell. Rain would then come around to score after an Annalyn Yantis walk, and the Canes were within one run.
“I’m proud of our effort. We didn’t give up,” Holsomback said. “I can’t coach heart and we have it.”
The game then took a twist when Annie Holsomback hit a groundball to second base. Interference was called as a Cartersville base runner made contact with the Ringgold second baseman.
Holsomback argued the call, and after a lengthy delay, the game was put under protest by Cartersville and play resumed.
Yantis came out strong after the delay and did not allow a hit over the final two innings. The junior pitcher struck out eight Ringgold batters and allowed five hits in her seven innings in the pitcher’s circle. She also went 2-for-2 at the plate with two walks.
She received some help defensively in the seventh inning from Rain, who made an outstanding leaping grab near the left-field fence.
In the bottom of the inning, Cartersville made two quick outs before Bailey and Yantis kep the game alive with clutch singles.
However, the Lady Canes could not take advantage of the opportunity, and in the end, took the loss despite their comeback efforts.
“We didn’t take advantage of opportunities,” Holsomback said. “I’m proud of my girls. We came back and we had our chances, but we just didn’t capitalize.”
Still, Cartersville learned it can compete with one of the best teams in the region and gave Ringgold its toughest test in region play so far.
Another matchup between the two teams will take place Sep. 17, but for now, Holsomback’s team will prepare to take on Adairsville Tuesday at home.
“We’ll learn, adjust and come back strong,” he said. “We made some errors, made some mistakes. We have to cut down on those and we’ll be fine.”