September 18, 2013

Prep roundup: Injured player brings good vibes to Dalton High softball

Devin Golden

— Destinee Woods’ feel-good moment may have been a good luck charm for Dalton High School’s softball team on Tuesday night.

Woods, one of two seniors on the Lady Catamounts’ roster, started for the first time this season as Dalton hosted Southeast Whitfield in a Sub-region 7B-4A matchup. In a symbolic gesture, she played for only the opening pitch before being replaced at shortstop by Gaby Wright, but Woods’ teammates took it from there in a 7-3 win on senior night.

Woods tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during a summer basketball camp and is out for the season. However, she dressed out and was able to take the field one last time and join fellow senior Eternity Goodman in the night’s festivities.

“It was really great,” Woods said.

Dalton improved to 8-16 overall and 2-5 in the sub-region, while Southeast fell to 7-13 and 1-5.

Each of the past two seasons, the Lady Cats have struggled during much of the regular season but found a groove at the region tournament and into the state playoffs. Woods believes another late surge is possible this year.

“I definitely believe we can do it again,” Woods said. “We have so much potential on our team.”

Against Southeast, the Lady Cats took the lead for good in the third inning when Kylee Harris scored on a wild pitch from Sydney Covington to put Dalton ahead 4-3. The Lady Cats, who finished with 14 hits, scored at least one run in five of their six turns at the plate in the game.

“Tonight was just a good battle,” Lady Cats coach Stacy Parker said. “It’s a big win for us and we had some good individual performances.”

Kylee Harris, Christen Pender, Carson Roberts, Blayne Thomason, Alli Swinford and Wright each finished 2-for-4 for Dalton. Harris scored twice, while Pender had two RBIs. Swinford and Thomason each had RBIs.

Southeast’s hitters only tallied five hits against Swinford, who threw all seven innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out six with no walks.

“I think tonight we just beat ourselves,” Lady Raiders coach Kelley Barton said. “In crucial situations, we didn’t step up and make the plays we needed to.”

Southeast went up 2-0 in the first inning as Emily Beck beat out an infield single and both Kara Headrick and Covington scored on the play. Dalton responded with a run in its half of the inning — Pender’s infield single brought home Thomason — and two more in the second. However, the Lady Raiders tied the game in the third as Covington’s sacrifice fly brought home Madison Pearson.

The Lady Cats extended their lead in the fourth when Hailey Jones’ double scored Bowen Land, then added two runs in the fifth to cap the scoring.

Covington pitched six innings for Southeast, allowing five earned runs and walking four. Beck finished 2-for-3 with a double.

Northwest Whitfield 3, LaFayette 1: With Northwest trailing 1-0 and down to its final out, Colbie Thomas’ bases-loaded triple put the Lady Bruins on top and they held on for a Sub-region 7B-4A win on the road.

Thomas came to the plate for Northwest (22-3, 6-1) after Macy Weeks singled and stole second, Kylee Ward walked — Shelby Ralston came in to pinch-run for her — and Alyssa Ward reached on an infield hit. Those three at-bats sandwiched Northwest’s first two outs of the inning.

Thomas’ triple was the senior’s only hit of the night and one of just six for Northwest.

“She’s pretty good at blocking it out and realizing you need to get it done,” Northwest coach Jason Brooker said. “It doesn’t matter what happened before.”

Alyssa Ward finished 3-for-3, Weeks was 2-for-3 and BriLeigh Baggett avoided a hard-luck loss thanks to Thomas’ timeliness.

Baggett picked up a complete-game win after allowing five hits and a walk while striking out eight. LaFayette’s run was unearned.

Coahulla Creek 6, North Murray 1: The Lady Colts (16-6, 7-3 Region 5-3A) took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning and beat the Lady Mountaineers (7-13, 4-5) for the second straight day.

Coahulla Creek’s Madeleine Kalafut finished 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI, Shelbe Dilbeck was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Sydney Wilson finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Dilbeck pitched all seven innings, striking out seven and allowing one run off 10 hits.

“We did a good job of getting out of jams,” Coahulla Creek coach Josh Swiney said. “The defense did well tonight. Shelbe pitched well, but the defense played great behind her.”

Baylee Sutton finished 3-for-3 with a double and the lone RBI for the Lady Mountaineers, while Amber Bandy was 2-for-4 and Kaitlin Epps was 2-for-3 with a double.

“We spotted them four in the first inning,” North Murray coach Steve Granger said. “If we can hold them to no runs in the first inning, then our mentality changes.”

Darlington 5, Christian Heritage 0: Erin Leonard pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief for Christian Heritage, but Darlington’s early runs were enough for the Lady Tigers to take a Sub-region 6A-A victory at Heritage Point in Dalton.

Leonard allowed two hits while striking out three, while teammate Hannah Heath was 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple. However, Christian Heritage (7-13, 0-6) left runners in scoring position in three innings.

“We are playing better,” Christian Heritage coach Mike Leonard said. “We just needed to have a timely hit there to stay with them.”


• Southeast beat host LaFayette 19-25, 25-14, 25-13 to improve to 14-6 overall and 2-1 in Area 7-4A.

“We didn’t communicate real well in the first set,” Lady Raiders coach Bethany Kenemer said, “and in the second and third sets we communicated better and played our style of volleyball. That made the difference.”

Yasmeen Paloblanco tallied 20 digs for the Lady Raiders, while Angie Purkey added 18 assists and nine digs and Wendy Perez finished with 15 kills and three blocks. Gaby Gonzalez chipped in eight digs and Melisa Fraire had seven, while Yolanda Melgarejo had five kills and Serena Ramsey added four digs and three kills.

• Dalton lost 25-15, 22-25, 27-25 to host Ridgeland in Area 7-4A play but bounced back to win 25-20, 25-18 against Gilmer.

Ashleigh Peters had 19 kills and six aces for the Lady Cats (3-16, 1-2), while Alejandra Fraire had 18 kills and six aces. Hannah Cox finished with 14 kills. Katie Wilson tallied 51 assists, while Lyndsey Parker had 48 assists. Macie Noles had eight aces.

“They finally clicked as a team tonight,” Dalton coach Joey Wills said. “It was nice to see.”

• Northwest split a pair of Area 7-4A matches, beating host Pickens 25-23, 25-13 but falling 12-25, 25-10, 25-8 to Heritage-Catoosa.

Mary Kate Allen had 16 kills and four blocks to lead the Lady Bruins (15-12, 2-2), while McKinley Hopkins added six aces and seven kills, Whitley Brooker had 19 assists and Madelyn Logan chipped in five digs.

• Christian Heritage lost 25-11, 25-21 to visiting Gordon Lee in Area 4-A play. Jessica Seehorn led the Lady Lions (13-5, 2-1) with 16 assists and eight digs, while Savannah Roberson tallied eight kills and Brenna Mugge had 15 digs.

• Coahulla Creek lost 25-21, 25-17 to visiting Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe as the Lady Colts fell to 7-18 and 2-3 in Area 5-3A. No other details were available.

• Northwest’s junior varsity beat Pickens’ JV squad 25-22, 25-18 and topped Pickens’ freshman team 25-20, 25-11. MaLane Kyer had 10 assists, nine aces and seven kills for the Lady Bruins (9-4), while Holly Heath finished with 10 aces and seven kills.

• North Murray did not report results from scheduled varsity matches by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.