From Staff Reports
A five-run fourth inning turned the game around for Coahulla Creek and capped a long day of softball for area prep teams at the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Invitational at Jack Mattox Recreation Complex in Ringgold.
The Lady Colts trailed Murray County 1-0 going into the fourth, but they pushed across the bulk of their runs on an inside-the-park homer by MaKenzie Eaton in a 5-2 win over the Lady Indians. Coahulla Creek also had a 9-2 win over Holy Innocents’ and a 5-3 loss to LaFayette on Saturday. In late results from Friday, the Lady Colts beat Christian Heritage 12-4 and Christian Heritage beat Ridgeland 5-4 in nine innings.
Coahulla Creek (5-1) has now won five of six games since opening the season with a loss to Northwest Whitfield.
“I feel pretty good about this group,” first-year Coahulla Creek coach Josh Swiney said. “We have some good momentum going and we have a big week with (Region 5-3A opponents) Ringgold and Sonoraville this week. We are playing well right now. We have to be more consistent defensively. We have done a good job of making the spectacular plays. We have to make more of the routine plays.”
In the win over Murray County (6-3), Emily Banks was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Lady Colts. Erin Harden got the win, allowing two hits while striking out five. Murray County’s Lindsey Dunn took the loss after giving up five hits and striking out five.
Kala Franks drove in three runs and Baylee Adkins and LaSha Hedden each went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs to lead the Lady Colts over Holy Innocents’. Madeleine Kalafut was also 2-for-4 with a double, while Nikki Hollis pitched a complete-game, four hitter. Hedden was 2-for-3 with a double and Franks had a triple and drove in a pair in the loss to LaFayette.
Haley Reece was 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs in the rout of Christian Heritage on Friday. Sydney Wilson was 2-for-2, while Sydney Ross was 2-for-3 with an RBI. For Christian Heritage, Halle Poteet was 2-for-3 with two doubles and one RBI. Hailey Jones added an RBI double, and Hannah Heath had a double.
In the win over Ridgeland, pitcher Erin Harden worked all nine innings, striking out eight and giving up just one earned run.
• Northwest Whitfield won all five of its games at the LFO Invitational, including a thrilling 4-3 win versus Ringgold on Saturday.
The 2012 Class 4A state champions improved to 7-0 this season.
With the game tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, Bayli Cruse led off with a double for the Lady Bruins. Shelby Ralston was the courtesy runner and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ashley Conner and Macy Weeks were intentionally walked, and Mallory Souther hit the game-winning single.
Cruse was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Conner went 2-for-3 with a stolen base. BriLeigh Baggett pitched all seven innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks.
It was the fourth game of the tournament for the Lady Bruins and their second on Saturday.
In their first game on Friday, Northwest beat Dade County 7-4. The Lady Bruins trailed 2-0 until they scored four runs in the fifth.
Cruse had two doubles and two RBIs, Conner also had two doubles and Alyssa Ward finished 2-for-3. Baggett pitched all seven innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five.
In Friday’s second game, Northwest beat North Murray 13-1 in a contest shortened to four innings due to the mercy rule.
Cruse finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Ralston was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Madison Gowin pitched all four innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out two.
In Saturday’s first game, Northwest won 10-0 in five innings against Harris County as Cruse went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Colbie Thomas and Weeks each finished 2-for-3 with a stolen base, while Hannah Godfrey also finished 2-for-3. Gowin pitched the entire game, walking three and allowing two hits.
In the team’s final game at the event, Northwest won 11-3 in six innings versus Gordon Lee.
Cruse finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Weeks also went 2-for-4 and Souther finished with three hits. Bayley Marquardt had a three-run, two-out double in the first inning, while Ward also had a double.
Baggett pitched six innings, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out four.
Northwest’s combined score at the event was 45-11.
“We hit well,” Lady Bruins coach Jason Brooker said. “Most of our hits are up the middle or right-center field or left-center field. We’re staying pretty disciplined.”
• In Murray County’s other games, the Lady Indians beat Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 7-2 and topped Christian Heritage 9-1.
In Saturday’s opener, Osborne was 4-for-4 with a double and a triple, while Whitney Gribble and Ashlee Strong — who had a double — were both 2-for-4. Lindsey Dunn pitched for the complete-game victory, giving up eight hits while striking out six.
In the run-rule shortened win over the Lady Lions, Gribble was the winning pitcher, striking out six without giving up an earned run in the five-inning game. Osborne was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a pair of doubles. Dunn was 3-for-3 with four runs scored, while Strong finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and three stolen bases.
Christian Heritage’s Hadley Young had a triple and Ashlyn Clements was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
• Christian Heritage (4-7) won its first game in the tournament, beating Holy Innocents’ 6-2 on Friday, but lost the next four.
Erin Leonard pitched seven innings, allowed one earned run off five hits and four walks while striking out three Holy Innocents’ batters. Jones was 3-for-4 with a triple, double and one RBI, Heath went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Baleigh McAllister doubled and drew two walks.
Christian Heritage lost its first game Saturday 12-3 to LFO. Poteet was 2-for-3 and Jones finished with a two-run triple. The Lady Lions scored all three of their runs in the first inning but were shut out the rest of the game.
“We were on the field Friday night until 11 and had to be back out at 8 in the morning,” Christian Heritage coach Mike Leonard said. “The girls were tired and looked sluggish on the field.”
In the Lady Lions’ final game Saturday, they lost 12-2 to Ridgeland.
Young had a two-run double to drive in Jones during the first inning, but again the Lions were shut out thereafter.
“Our biggest thing is we need to get better pitching and need to make plays on defense,” coach Leonard said. “If we correct those two things, it’ll shorten the innings up. We had some key errors and misjudged balls that we should’ve got to. If we correct those things, we’ll get better.”
• In Chatsworth, Christian Heritage and the host Lady Mountaineers both reached the semifinals at the North Murray Spikefest, while Murray County lost each of its six matches at the tournament.
The six teams at the event faced one another in round-robin action to determine seeding for the single-elimination bracket portion of the tournament, and the Lady Lions won all five of their matches, the first action for the team this season.
Christian Heritage’s round-robin wins were against: Cass, 25-12, 22-25, 15-2; Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 25-15, 22-25, 15-6; Murray County, 25-19, 25-16; North Murray, 25-15, 25-13; and Haralson County, 25-10, 25-22.
However, Haralson County beat Christian Heritage in a bracket rematch, 25-20, 25-18.
“For opening up the season 5-1, I think we did well,” Lady Lions assistant coach Lisa Donahue said. “We did a lot of stuff right and there are a few things to work on. Losing the semifinals game was disappointing because we felt like we should’ve won the tournament.”
Donahue said LFO beat North Murray in the other semifinal, then beat Haralson County in the championship. She did not have individual statistics available.
Murray County (0-8) lost 25-19, 21-25, 25-21 to Cass, 28-26, 25-13 to North Murray, 25-6, 25-17 to LFO and 25-23, 25-3 to Haralson County before falling 25-14, 25-8 in a rematch with Haralson County in bracket play.
For the day, Alex Johnson had 34 assists, Heidy Cabral tallied 28 with seven aces and Tiffany Markey had 11 digs. Jenna Stanley recorded six kills — Chassidy Dixon and Keona Brinkman each had four — and Taylor Simmons added six aces.
North Murray did not report its scores and statistics by The Daily Citizen’s deadline.