That is once again the case this season as Woodland played the back-to-back defending Class AAAA state champion Northwest Whitfield Friday night, falling to the Bruins by a score of 2-0 in the rain-shortened game at Tunnel Hill.
“I don’t see us seeing anybody as good as we saw tonight,” Roberts said of the game. “That’s their No. 1 pitcher who threw over 30 games last year, so she’s real, real good.”
The pitcher Roberts is referring to is Brileigh Baggett, who made the GACA’s Class AAAA All-State first team in 2013 when she finished the season with a 28-6 record and threw a no-hitter in the state tournament.
Baggett struck out nine batters in her five innings of work before the game was called due to rain. However, Baggett did walk five batters.
Roberts said rain was a factor in the game.
“We had two or three lightning delays, rain delays,” Roberts said. “It was wet. Every pitch, it was a new ball being thrown out there. I wish it was a different situation — being dry, really get the game going, get the flow going.”
The rain may have affected Woodland’s defense, which had two errors in the game behind starting pitcher Brooke Rogers. Rogers pitched all 4 1/3 innings and gave up one earned run to go along with three strikeouts.
The lone hit for the Lady Wildcats came off the bat of senior center fielder Bailey Roberts on a single to left field. Roberts and Taylor Calhoun, who walked twice, were the two batters to avoid a strikeout by Baggett.
Roberts struck out just four times as a regular starter a season ago.
“Well, we’ve been talking to her about flattening her bat out,” Colman Roberts said. “She doesn’t strike out a whole lot.”
Each of Woodland’s top four hitters in the lineup managed to reach base once as Valerie Glass, Rogers and Bridgett Hampton each walked in addition to Bailey Roberts’ hit.
Woodland hopes to get in the win column when they open up region play Tuesday at home against Dalton.
“We just have to stay positive and just work a little harder with a good attitude. It’s a long season,” Roberts said. “We just have to make adjustments at the plate and not get down on ourselves and work, and that’s what I told them.”