With the way this high school softball season has gone for both Dalton and Southeast Whitfield, it might have been a good idea to have an ambulance at the latter’s diamond Thursday evening for their Sub-region 7B-4A matchup.
Both teams have suffered mightily when it comes to injuries, but it was the team that has been knocked down to just nine players that pressed ahead to get the win.
Southeast’s Sydney Covington allowed just two hits while striking out 11, and leadoff hitter Madison Pearson was 4-for-4 as the Lady Raiders blew past Dalton 9-2.
After a 7-1 loss to Heritage in the sub-region opener on Tuesday, Southeast coach Kelley Barton said the big win over a crosstown rival was sorely needed by the Lady Raiders (4-7). Dalton fell to 2-7 overall and 0-2 in sub-region play.
“The loss to Heritage was a big downer, but I think that we rebounded very well from that,” Barton said. “They had a really good practice yesterday, and they came through and did exactly what we worked on.”
Southeast’s only spot of trouble came in the first. Gabby Wright drew a leadoff walk and catcher Hannah Jones laid a bunt down the third-base line. The throw to first went into the outfield and down the right-field line and both Wright and Jones came around to score.
Southeast responded in the bottom half of the inning as Pearson singled and scored on Kara Headrick’s double. The Lady Raiders took the lead for good with two runs in the third. Headrick again brought Pearson in with a double, and she came in to score on Covington’s drag bunt down the third-base line.
Southeast catcher Brooke Hasty broke the game open in the fifth with the night’s biggest hit. With the bases loaded, Hasty sent a shot up the middle past Dalton shortstop Christen Pender and the ball found its way to the outfield fence. The bases-clearing triple pushed the Southeast lead to 6-2, and Hasty made it 7-2 by scoring on a wild pitch.
Southeast pushed across a pair of insurance runs in the sixth, and Headrick and Maranda Bates each finished with two hits.
“We have had to do a better job of putting together a complete game, and it seemed like we did that tonight,” Barton said. “We have to be able to go out there being confident and being ready to have a dominant night.”
Injuries have taken a toll on both teams this season, with no one sitting on the bench except coaches when the Lady Raiders are in the field.
Still, Barton feels comfortable with her lineup.
“I am pretty confident in the nine we have,” she said. “Of course you worry about injury to another one, but we have a lot of utility players who can play wherever we need them.”
Dalton could manage little against Covington. She sat the Lady Cats down in order in the third, fourth and seventh.
“Sydney is one of the best pitchers in the area,” Dalton coach Stacy Parker said. “Our youth and inexperience showed a little bit tonight, and it looked like we were never balanced at the plate.”
• Northwest Whitfield 7, LaFayette 2: The Lady Ramblers scored twice in the first, but the Lady Bruins (9-0, 2-0 Sub-region 7B-4A) responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning and took the lead in the fifth.
Northwest scored four in the sixth — including a three-run homer from Bayli Cruse — to pull away from their visitors.
Cruse added a double as she finished 2-for-4, while Colbie Thomas was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Ashley Conner had an RBI double and Macy Weeks went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
BriLeigh Baggett pitched seven innings, allowing two earned runs off five hits and two walks while striking out four.
• Murray County 10, Pepperell 4: The Lady Indians (8-4, 2-1 Region 7-2A) scored four runs in the first inning, two in the second and three in the fifth to win at home.
Shea Pendley went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases and scored twice for Murray County, while Aubrie Osborne was 2-for-2 with two runs, a steal and an RBI. Whitney Gribble went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI.
Gribble pitched all seven innings, allowing two earned runs off five hits and three walks while striking out five.
• Coahulla Creek 11, Adairsville 3: The Lady Colts (8-3, 3-1 Region 5-3A) tallied 17 hits and needed just five innings to claim a mercy-rule win on the road.
Emily Banks was 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and three runs to lead Coahulla Creek.
Other standout efforts for the Lady Colts came from Madeleine Kalafut (3-for-3, RBI, three runs); Sydney Ross (2-for-3, double, three RBIs); LaSha Hedden (2-for-4, double, two RBIs); Baylee Adkins (2-for-3, double, RBI); Shelbe Dilbeck (2-for-3, two runs); and Kala Franks (double, two RBIs).
Nikki Hollis allowed no earned runs in the complete-game victory. She gave up three hits and walked one while striking out four.
• Darlington 7, Christian Heritage 4: The Lady Lions (5-9, 0-2 Sub-region 6A-A) allowed five runs in the first inning because of multiple errors on their way to the loss in Rome.
Micah Kilgore finished 2-for-3 for Christian Heritage, while Hannah Heath went 2-for-3 and Julia McDonald had a hit and drove in a pair of runs.
• Sonoraville 4, North Murray 1: The Lady Phoenix scored three runs in the third and one in the fourth to win the Region 5-3A contest.
Samantha Stafford scored the lone run for the Lady Mountaineers (1-8, 0-3) in the fifth. Kara Deal and Baylee Sutton each had a double and shared pitching duties.
Deal worked four innings, allowing one earned run off six hits while striking out four. Sutton pitched two scoreless innings and allowed one hit while striking out one.