From Staff Reports
Dalton High School’s softball team opened its 2013 season with a rookie coach and four freshmen in the starting lineup, and it showed at times in the Lady Catamounts’ 6-1 loss to Darlington on Thursday.
The game was part of the opening day of action at Model’s Lady Blue Devils Classic at Alto Park in Rome. Games in the tournament continue today and will conclude on Saturday. The tournament is not a round-robin or a double-elimination tournament; each team is guaranteed six games over the course of the three-day event.
In other games on Thursday, also at the Lady Blue Devils Classic, Southeast Whitfield and Murray County each won their openers with the Lady Raiders beating fellow Region 7-4A member Pickens 6-4 and Murray County topping fellow Region 7-2A member Armuchee 3-1.
In games today involving local teams, Southeast will play Armuchee at 4:30 p.m., Murray County faces Chattooga at 6:30 and Dalton will play two games, taking on Trion at 4:30 and LaFayette at 8:30.
Dalton coach Stacy Parker said his young team did some things right and did some things wrong in its first game.
“We are really young with four freshmen starting and it is the first game of the year and we made a few errors,” Parker said. “The good thing about this is that we have six games (at the tournament). This is what the (early portion of the schedule) is about. We will work hard, and I am expecting some big things from this group. We had some first-game jitters, but we will get those fixed.”
Freshman Alli Swinford took the loss in the circle, allowing three earned runs on five hits in six innings. She also had an RBI single to drive in Gabby Wright in the sixth. Wright went 3-for-4, while Swinford and Kylee Harris were each 2-for-3.
• Murray County 3, Armuchee 1: The Lady Indians scored three runs with two outs in the top of the fifth and took advantage of Whitney Gribble’s three-hitter in the circle. Gribble allowed one unearned run while striking out five to earn the season-opening win.
In the fifth, Lindsey Dunn doubled with two outs, and Ashlee Strong followed with a walk. A wild pitch moved the runners up and Shea Pendley singled to bring in Dunn, who finished 2-for-3. Strong scored on an Aubrie Osborne single. Pendley scored on a passed ball for the final margin of victory.
• Southeast Whitfield 6, Pickens 4: Chaya Drury was 2-for-2 with an RBI to help the Lady Raiders win their opener.
Kara Headrick and Sydney Covington both pitched, with Headrick getting the win after giving up two earned runs and leaving with a 5-3 advantage after five innings of work. The Lady Raiders scored one run in the first, three in the third, one in the sixth and another in the seventh.
Covington was the only other player with multiple hits for Southeast, going 3-for-4.