After a nice play in the hole by freshman shortstop Morgan DeBoard for the second out of the inning, it appeared the Lady Tigers were headed to the bottom half of the inning with the score tied and a chance to take the lead.
However, a lazy flyball fell just inside the right field line, scoring two, and allowed North Murray to take the lead for good as the Lady Mountaineers defeated Adairsville 5-2.
“I certainly thought we were going to get out of [the fifth inning] with less damage then we did. It’s always nice to see some plays like [DeBoard’s]. It certainly turns the momentum,” Adairsville head coach Kandace Bruno said. “You want every game, of course. If we have to lose, I would rather have us get beat rather than us give it away, which is what we did today. Defensively, we weren’t solid and some of us made adjustments at the plate and some of us didn’t. If we’re not going to do those things, then you certainly can’t give away runs.”
Adairsville gave away a run in the first inning when an error allowed North Murray to score and take a 2-0 lead. North Murray put four base runners on in the inning and all of them came with two outs.
Freshman pitcher Loren Harris was able to bounce back, though, and did not allow a hit from the second inning through the fourth. She struck out 11 in the game.
“She did her job and [North Murray] didn’t really hit the ball hard,” Bruno said of Harris. “They didn’t hit well. She kept them off balance, but the defense didn’t make the plays behind her.”
Adairsville was able to provide Harris with some run support in the bottom of the first inning with one run. Freshman Emily Collum led off with a single and DeBoard followed two batters later with one of her own. Collum and DeBoard were each able to advance to second and third base, respectively, after North Murray struggled getting the ball back to the infield after DeBoard’s single. The defensive mistake would prove costly as Bailey Robinson drove Collum home with a groundball during the next at bat.
Adairsville then tied the score in the fourth inning when an error allowed Robinson to reach base. After a successful sacrifice bunt by Morgan Creel, Robinson came home to score on another North Murray error. The Lady Mountaineers had five errors in the game.
According to Bruno, Adairsville could have tacked on more runs.
“We need to work on in-game adjustments,” she said of her team’s approach at the plate. “That’s something that a lot of the younger ones struggle with.”
Adairsville’s two runs in the game would not be enough as North Murray scored three in the fifth inning. A single and a walk put two runners on with one out, which is when DeBoard made a nice backhand stab on a groundball and threw to third base for the force out.
It was then that North Murray’s Baylee Sutton hit a flyball to shallow right field. Adairsville’s second baseman and right fielder were unable to get to the ball and collided, forcing Robinson to come over from center field and throw the ball back into the infield. Sutton ended up with a triple and both of North Murray’s base runners scored. Sutton then came home on a single by August Miles.
Adairsville had runners in scoring position in each the sixth and seventh innings, but could not chip into North Murray’s lead.
The young Lady Tigers did receive some nice individual performances from freshmen in the game. Specifically, Cullum and DeBoard each had two hits in the game.
“[DeBoard]’s leading the team in batting average right now,” Bruno said. “Before the game she was batting .500. She’s been really big for us and she will be big.”
Harris also showed poise on the mound against one of the top hitters in the state, Megan Pittman. Pittman hit .532 with nine home runs last year and began the game with a double and a walk in her first two at bats Tuesday. However, Harris was able to retire Pittman in her last two at bats on a groundball and a flyout to the infield.
“Those were two really big outs at the end,” Bruno said of Harris retiring Pittman. “Loren being a freshman facing a senior with the ability to hit the ball like she does, those were really huge outs.”
Adairsville is now 0-1 in region play and will look to pick up its first region win Monday at home against Sonoraville.
Cass 15, Rome 1
The Cass bats were quiet for the first two innings against Rome Tuesday night.
However, the Lady Colonels busted out for two runs in the third inning and 13 in the fourth on their way to routing the Lady Wolves, 15-1, in four innings.
“We played well. Hannah Lee pitched the whole game and she threw real well,” Cass head coach Greg Hight said. “We did a great job swinging the bats.”
Lee struck out three in the game and allowed just one unearned run.
She had plenty of run support and help from Rome, which had five errors in the game. Hope Elrod had two hits, three RBIs and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Tori Evans also had two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs in the game.
Sierrah Gani and Hannah Elrod also had two RBIs in the game.
Lauren Womack and Casey Brazell each added a hit as well.
The Lady Colonels utilized strong baserunning in the game as Womack, Katelin White, Hope Elrod, Lee and Gani each recorded a stolen base.
Cass is now 2-1 in region play and the team’s next game will come at Sequoyah Thursday.
Christian Heritage 5, Excel 0
Christian Heritage was able to make the most of its opportunities with runners in scoring position as it scored five runs in its region game against the Lady Eagles Tuesday.
“It was a great game, 0-0, until the bottom of the fourth and they just got a two-out hit and then another one and then they got another one,” Excel head coach Chad Parker said. “We just couldn’t get anything going offensively. We had runners in scoring position. We just couldn’t get that big hit. That’s just softball for you sometimes. Two good pitchers, two good teams, sometimes it just comes down to who gets the big hit.
“Christian Heritage is pretty good. They’ll win a couple of games. They have a pretty good pitcher, pretty good hitters and they’re solid defensively.”
Excel will look to pick up its first region win Thursday again Mount Zion.