For nearly four innings Tuesday, North Murray High School’s softball team seemed poised to hand Ringgold its first region loss of the season.
Then Devan Brown’s 12-pitch at-bat ended with her walking to first base to give Ringgold the lead — and in North Murray coach Steve Granger’s assessment, his team “quit.”
North Murray scored first Tuesday, but the Lady Tigers rallied for four runs in the fourth inning and six more in the seventh to pick up a 10-1 win on the road in Region 5-3A play. It ended a three-game winning streak for the Lady Mountaineers (4-9, 3-4).
In the fourth, Ringgold (12-3, 8-0) tied the game on Abby McKinney’s bases-loaded, one-out walk. After Taylor Chadwick popped out in the infield, Brown came to the plate with the bases loaded to face North Murray pitcher Kara Deal.
With the count full, Brown fouled off six straight pitches before Deal’s 12th pitch was low and Brown walked to bring in another Ringgold run.
“Anytime you go ahead, I think that’s a momentum thing,” said Ringgold coach Rachel Hodge, whose team is alone atop the region standings. “And I think what (Brown) did was very important.”
Chandler Turner followed with a two-run single to chase Deal and give the Lady Tigers a 4-1 advantage.
In the seventh, things got worse for North Murray. The first five Ringgold batters reached base and the Lady Tigers tallied five hits in the six-run inning.
“Bottom line is we quit,” Granger said. “We quit when we got down 4-1. I don’t coach teams like that.”
Deal did well until the fourth. She escaped with runners on second and third in the first, then had little trouble in the next two innings.
North Murray’s bats were quiet — they finished with three hits — except for the second and third innings. In the second, Amber Bandy led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Haley Harris’ safety squeeze.
In the third, Megan Pittman led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. However, the next two batters flied out to second base and grounded out to third, leaving Pittman stranded.
North Murray’s only baserunner the rest of the game was Deal, who was hit by a pitch in the sixth.
“Up to the fourth inning, we played great,” Granger said. “We hit the ball hard. After that, we quit. ... In the last inning, we swung at three pitches and that was the ballgame. We have to be more disciplined. Even with those three at the end, it’s a 10-4 game if they all hit (home runs).”
Deal pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs off four hits and five walks. Baylee Sutton pitched the last 3 1/3 and allowed four earned runs off six hits and a walk.
Ringgold’s Katie Cain picked up the complete-game win, allowing a walk and striking out three.
• Heritage-Catoosa 6, Northwest Whitfield 5: The home-standing Lady Generals took advantage of a pair of Lady Bruins errors and a pair of walks to score four runs in the seventh and win the showdown of state-ranked teams and Sub-region 7B-4A rivals.
Northwest had not lost to a Class 4A school since being bounced from the state tournament in 2011. The Lady Bruins came into the game as the No. 1-ranked team in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Class 4A rankings, while Heritage was No. 6.
Heritage was runner-up to Northwest in last year’s Region 7-4A tournament, and the Lady Bruins went on to win the Class 4A state title, their third top-four finish at state in four seasons.
“I told the team one play doesn’t win or lose a game,” Northwest coach Jason Brooker said. “It takes all seven innings, and we didn’t play a complete game tonight. I told (Heritage coach Steve) Chattin that neither team looked like one of the top teams in the state and he agreed. We were both kind of sloppy.”
In addition to the errors, the Lady Bruins left eight runners on base.
Hannah Godfrey led Northwest (15-2, 4-1) with a 3-for-3, two-RBI performance, while Ashley Conner was 2-for-4. Bayli Cruse, who was 2-for-4, and Macy Weeks each drove in a pair of runs.
• Dalton 8, LaFayette 6: Hailey Jones went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs as the Lady Cats (6-11, 1-4 Sub-region 7B-4A) put six runs on the board in the fourth to win on the road.
Kylee Harris drove in three as well, going 2-for-4 with a double. Eternity Goodman and Hannah Jones each had an RBI, while Alli Swinford (6-5) went the distance in the circle.
• Cartersville 4, Coahulla Creek 2: Kala Franks and LaSha Hedden each had a hit and drove in a run for the host Lady Colts (14-5, 5-2 Region 5-3A).
The Lady Colts’ Erin Harden pitched all seven innings, allowing three earned runs off eight hits and three walks while striking out 11.
• Results from Southeast Whitfield’s scheduled home game against Ridgeland were not reported by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Christian Heritage opened its Area 4-A schedule with a sweep of Darlington and host Whitefield Academy. The Lady Lions won 25-22, 25-18 against the latter and beat Darlington 25-18, 25-23.
For Christian Heritage (12-4), Jessica Seehorn finished with 33 assists, six kills and eight digs. Savannah Roberson had 17 kills, while Brenna Mugge added 14 digs.
• Coahulla Creek split a pair of Area 4-3A matches, falling 25-10, 25-17 to Sonoraville and beating host Fannin County 19-25, 25-18, 25-19.
The Lady Colts (5-14, 2-2 in 4-3A) were led by Macey Fossett (22 assists), Taylor Ogle (seven kills, three assists) and Nikki Ross (four kills, three aces, five blocks).
• Northwest lost 25-20, 25-21 to LaFayette but rebounded to beat host Gilmer 14-25, 27-25, 25-20 in its first Area 7-4A action of the year.
Mary Kate Allen and Peyton Maret each tallied 17 kills for the Lady Bruins (10-4), while McKinley Hopkins added nine kills and Nicole Brewer had four. Whitley Brooker led the team with 38 assists and Lindsey Roberts recorded five aces.
• Dalton lost 25-19, 25-19 at Heritage to begin Area 7-4A play.
Lyndsey Parker tallied 32 assists for the Lady Catamounts (2-11), while Alejandra Fraire and Hannah Cox each had five kills.
• Northwest’s boys finished fifth out of 34 teams at the second Chattanooga Cross Country League meet of the season, which was held at Camp Jordan in East Ridge, Tenn.
Bruins coach Tom Sell reported individual and team places for his runners, but coaches for Dalton and Southeast did not have complete results available. Coahulla Creek competed in the event but did not report results by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
Leading the Bruins was Henson Gibbs in 12th with a time of 18 minutes, 24 seconds on the 5K (3.1-mile) course. He was joined by Dylan Richards (22nd, 18:57), Lane Bramblett (23rd, 18:59), Kyle Richards (45th, 19:59) and Luke Stevens (58th, 20:29) in scoring for the Bruins.
Dalton’s boys scorers were Brandon Pineda (19:13), Sergio Aguirre (20:02), Erik Villalobos (20:05), Jose Boyzo (20:21) and Jay Tripp (20:22). Southeast’s boys scorers were Luis Perez (19:19), Daniel Triana (20:17), Cristian Gonzalez (21:22), Sandro Ruiz (22:11) and Erik Flores (22:59).
For the girls, Northwest was ninth, led by Ashley Sweeny in 52nd at 25:10.
Southeast’s Isabel Salinas was the top local runner with a time of 22:17.
Other Northwest scorers were Jen Riviera (60th, 25:50), Caroline Duffy (81st, 26:56), Samantha Wooten (85th, 27:06) and Tilea West (87th, 27:31). Dalton’s scorers were Ashley Parham (25:17), Beronica Hernandez (25:19), Fabiola Torres (25:28), Monica Vega (26:10) and Brenda Rodriguez (26:44). Southeast’s scorers were Ana Padilla (26:06), Jessica Flores (26:57), Maria Quijano (28:24) and Sandy Torres (31:07).
• Murray County hosted a four-school meet on Fort Mountain, with Gilmer winning both the boys and girls competition.
For the girls, Murray County was second with 53 points behind Gilmer’s 23. Fannin County and Morris Innovative didn’t have enough competitors to qualify as teams.
Among the scorers for the Lady Indians were Katelyn Richardson (second, 22:54), Cloe Brown (11th, 27:24), Maddie Phillips (12th, 28:26) and Monica Bermudez (13th, 29:06).
For the boys, the Indians were second with 36 points with Gilmer at 31 and Fannin County scoring 55. Morris Innovative didn’t have enough competitors for a team score.
Scorers for Murray County were Ivan Delgado (third, 18:39), Jose Ruiz (sixth, 19:02), Antonio Martinez (eighth, 19:11), Fili Nunez (ninth, 19:59) and Servio Martinez (10th, 20:14).
Morris Innovative did not report results from the meet.