From Staff Reports
Sydney Covington pitched about as well as Southeast Whitfield High School softball coach Kelley Barton could hope for on Monday.
The only problem for the Lady Raiders was that Northwest Whitfield’s BriLeigh Baggett was perfect.
Baggett, a junior, pitched a perfect game as the Lady Bruins ended their regular season and Sub-region 7B-4A play with a 1-0 victory against the Lady Raiders in Tunnel Hill.
Northwest is 24-4 overall and went 8-2 in sub-region play, while Southeast fell to 7-17, 1-9.
The Lady Bruins scored their run in the fourth inning. Hannah Godfrey’s single brought home Macy Weeks, who reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second base. On this night, it was enough for Baggett, who struck out 10.
“She was dialed in pretty well,” Northwest coach Jason Brooker said.
“She got ahead of hitters. When you get ahead of hitters, you can throw what you want to and you don’t have to give too much of the plate.”
Respecting tradition, no one in Northwest’s dugout mentioned the possibility of a perfect game while it was happening. Only afterward did the team acknowledge it.
“Nobody said a word,” Brooker said.
This is the second time in as many years a Northwest pitcher has thrown a perfect game against Southeast. Last season, Lady Bruins standout Emily Boyd accomplished it in a game shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.
Baggett’s perfect game was over the standard seven innings.
Covington’s performance would have been good enough to win many games. She allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out three.
“She did really well,” Barton said. “I think our effort overall today was exceptional. We did a good job going out there and executing what we’ve been practicing all year long.”
The game was the last for each team before the Region 7-4A tournament begins Saturday at the Heritage Point softball complex in Dalton. The Lady Bruins enter the double-elimination tournament as the sub-region’s No. 2 seed, while the Lady Raiders are the No. 6 seed.
The two teams could play again soon. Northwest has a first-round bye and will play at 1 p.m. against the winner of an 11 a.m. matchup between Pickens and Southeast.
If they do meet again, the Lady Raiders will need to figure out Baggett soon to stand a chance — and the same is true for the Lady Bruins against Covington.
“We’re not hitting the ball like we can,” Brooker said. “It’s hard to explain. Hitting is mostly mental and we’re just not hitting the good pitches we get. We’re either fouling them off or popping them up.”
• Murray County 11, Coosa 3: Backed by a 15-hit effort, Lindsey Dunn pitched a complete-game victory on the road for the Lady Indians (13-14, 7-6 Region 7-2A).
Dunn allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six batters.
Aubrie Osborne and Shea Pendley each finished 3-for-4. Osborne homered and drove in four runs, while Pendley had three RBIs. Ariel Smith and Ashlee Strong each went 2-for-4.
• Dalton beat visiting Murray County 25-17, 25-11 as the Lady Catamounts celebrated senior night.
Alejandra Fraire, one of Dalton’s five seniors, had seven kills — Hannah Cox added five kills — and Katie Wilson, another Lady Cats senior, had 30 assists.
Areli Cruz, Thao Nguyen and Alexis Yi are the other seniors for Dalton (7-22).
Heidy Cabral had six assists and one ace for the Lady Indians (3-18), while Chassidy Dixon tallied two aces, Alex Johnson finished with eight assists and Tiffany Markey added nine digs.
• Northwest did not report results from a scheduled match at West Forsyth by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Dalton 24, Southeast 12: Southeast’s scores came from Keaton McCutchen, who scored on a quarterback sneak, and Brady Foster who caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Cody Gillean.
The Raiders dropped to 2-2.
Dalton did not report statistics by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.