November 1, 2013

State softball: Northwest, Heritage meeting yet again

The road to defending the Class 4A state softball title will run down a familiar path for the Northwest Whitfield High School Lady Bruins.

Northwest and Heritage-Catoosa will meet for the sixth time this season after both teams swept a pair of games at the Class 4A state softball tournament at the South Commons Complex in Columbus.

The Lady Bruins, winners of the title last year in Columbus, have lost four times to the Lady Generals this year — twice in the regular season and twice in the Region 7 tournament. Northwest’s lone win was a 4-3 victory in the region tournament to force a deciding championship game, which the Lady Generals won 8-7.

Northwest (34-6) advanced to today’s 7 p.m. winner’s bracket final with a 5-0 win over Madison County in Thursday’s late game as junior pitcher BriLeigh Baggett pitched a no-hitter and was one late walk away from a perfect game. The Lady Bruins had advanced to the game with Madison County after a 3-1 win over Wayne County in the opening game.

“There isn’t much you can say about playing Heritage again,” Northwest coach Jason Brooker said. “We expect a good game and just have to make the plays and get some hits. The key has been the defense.”

Baggett wasn’t overpowering against Madison County with just two strikeouts, but her defense was stellar behind her. In the two games Thursday, the Lady Bruins played errorless ball.

Catcher Bayli Cruse was 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of runs batted in, while Macy Weeks was also 2-for-4. Ashley Conner was 1-for-2 with a two-run single in the sixth, and Colbie Thomas had a triple and a run scored.

Madison County had rallied from a 3-1 deficit in its opener to take a 5-3 win over Woodland-Henry. In the other winner’s bracket semifinal, Heritage (32-7) beat Walnut Grove 7-1. The Lady Generals beat Perry 2-0 in their opener, while Walnut Grove run-ruled South Effingham, 12-0.

The victor of tonight’s Heritage-Northwest games advances to Saturday’s noon championship game.

Madison County falls into the loser’s bracket and will play the winner of South Effingham and Perry at 3:30 p.m. today. If they win, they will play in the loser’s bracket semifinal at 7 p.m.

In the opening win over Region 3 runner-up Wayne County, the Lady Bruins scored three runs on three hits in the top of the fourth to take a 3-0 lead, and Baggett allowed just two hits to take the victory.

In the fourth, Cruse got a one-out single, and Conner hit a double to drive in courtesy runner McCall Carlock for a 1-0 lead. Weeks reached base on an error, and after a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mallory Souther, Alyssa Ward loaded the bases by drawing a walk after fouling off five two-strike pitches. Baggett followed with a two-run single to give the Lady Bruins enough offense.

“We had some good at bats to get runners on base, and then we had two big hits, and that was all that we needed,” Brooker said. “We played good defense with no errors.”

Baggett was perfect through 3 1/3 innings of work before giving up a solo homer to Hannah Farrell, but she shut down the Lady Yellow Jackets the rest of the way with good defense behind her.

“It wasn’t anything spectacular on defense, but they made all of the routine plays and didn’t give Wayne County anything,” Brooker said.

The Lady Yellow Jackets (29-5) play in an elimination game against Woodland-Henry this morning at 11 with the winner advancing to face Walnut Grove at 3 p.m.

Text Only
  • Dalton State College hires Kerem Daser as soccer director

    Dalton State College athletic director Derek Waugh said Tuesday that Kerem Daser, a veteran soccer coach, is the Roadrunners’ new soccer director.

    July 29, 2014

  • NW vs Cass baseball 6  mlh.jpg Thrown a curveball

    About four weeks ago, Seth Pierce and his family moved closer to Ringgold High School — a move which has big ramifications on two sports fronts. Not only will his departure affect the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball program, the move will also put him back on the football field.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW Football3.jpg Prep football: NW Whitfield staying hungry for more success

    Northwest Whitfield High School entered the 2013 season motivated to reach the state playoffs — something the Bruins accomplished.
    This year’s team possesses the hunger to mirror last season’s successes — and possibly more.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chris Whitfield: Ending ride (kind of) as sports writer

    T wo weeks ago, I was told by managing editor Jamie Jones that I would no longer be a full-time sports writer with The Daily Citizen. It was a mutual decision.

    July 28, 2014

  • Local trio leads NW section to 3rd place

    Tori Owens, of Chatsworth finished 11-over-par Monday in the Junior Sectional Challenge Match at The Landings Club-Marshwood and Magnolia in Savannah for third place in the girls 12-13-year-old 9-hole division. She joined Landon Painter and Hardin Chambless on the Northwest team.

    July 28, 2014

  • SE fball conditioning 1 mlh.jpg Prep football: Raiders enter preseason hoping for breakthrough

    Entering his third year as Southeast Whitfield High School’s football coach, Sean Gray believes the last obstacle is belief.
    He believes this group of Raiders has that quality.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devin Golden: Other sports start practice this week

    Football isn’t the only high school sport during the fall — and the others are joining in this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Three locals on NW team in state golf event

    Three local golfers — Hardin Chambless, Tori Owens and Landon Painter — played Sunday in round one of the Junior Sectional Challenge Match.

    July 28, 2014

  • DHS fball condition#1C0E6F8.jpg Prep football: Dalton enters camp well ahead of learning curve

    The joke came quick to the lips of Dalton High School football coach Matt Land when asked how the opening day of conditioning for the Catamounts went on Friday.
    “We can quit and go home,” Land said. “They have it all figured out.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan.jpg Making a trip into town

    Frank Thomas was always driven to excel, and that sure served him well.
    “I was never that blue-chip prospect,” he said. “I had to outwork my opponents.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating