LFO to host Calhoun for 6-AAA title
The LFO Lady Warriors began the week just two wins away from a region championship.
LFO ended the season for Haralson County in the opening round of the Region 6-AAA tournament last Tuesday and they advanced to the region finals with a doubleheader sweep of Bremen this past Saturday.
LFO (20-10) is scheduled to host second-ranked Calhoun in the best-of-three championship series, which will begin with a doubleheader on Wednesday. Game 3, if needed, would be played on Thursday.
LFO 5, Haralson Co. 0
A heads-up defensive play by shortstop Taylor Phillips in the bottom of the fifth helped preserve the shutout in the series opener.
Leading just 1-0, LFO watched as the Lady Rebels put the potential tying run on first base before laying down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second. LFO third baseman Karson Bradford charged the bunt and fired to second baseman Keelie Mauk, who was covering the bag at first for the out.
Haralson County runner Gracie McElroy, seeing that third base had been left unoccupied, attempted to take the extra base at the end of the play. But Phillips sprinted after McElroy and made a running catch of a throw by Mauk a few feet in front of the base. She twisted her body, lunged and applied the tag on a sliding McElroy just inches before the runner’s foot touched the bag to complete the highlight-worthy 5-4-6 double play.
The scoring chance by the Lady Rebels in that inning was one of the few chances they had in the entire doubleheader as senior Kourtney Morrison was simply masterful in the circle. She allowed just three hits and two walks in Game 1 with seven strikeouts.
Morrison staked her team to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1 with a two-run double and Bradford picked up an RBI-single in the third. Bradford struck again in the fifth, this time with a tworun double to cap the scoring.
LFO 3, Haralson Co. 0
With LFO playing as the visiting team, Morrison singled in Phillips to give the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Lyndsey Teague’s sacrifice fly in the sixth plated Phillips, who doubled to lead off the inning, and a shallow, bloop single to center by Shaniyah Jones in the seventh brought in pinch runner Taylor Bono with an insurance run.
Jones went 2-for-2 in Game 2.
Morrison scattered five hits in the nightcap, while one against fanning seven batters.
LFO 1, Bremen 0
Both teams had plenty of chances to score in Saturday’s opener, but nothing looked more like a sure thing than the Lady Devils’ chance in the top of the seventh.
Bremen loaded the bases against Morrison with two outs before Kristen Green sent
a fly ball toward the rightfield line that looked destined to drop for at least a run-scoring hit.
However, LFO’s speedy rightfielder Jerriane Jackson was on her horse as she sprinted toward the foul line and dove fully extended to catch the ball at the last possible moment, ending the inning and preserving the scoreless tie.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, Phillips drew a one-out walk to bring up Morrison in the clean-up spot
of the order and the senior rifled a double to centerfield that caromed off the top of the fence and allowed Phillips to score all the way from first with the game-winner.
Morrison got the win, allowing five hits and three walks with three strikeouts. She also had three of the Lady Warriors’ eight hits. Teague had two hits, while Phillips, Jones and Mauk added one each.
LFO 5, Bremen 4
In Game 2, LFO - playing one again as the visiting team - scored three times in the top of the second to grab a 4-1 lead. They scored once
more in the top of the seventh to make it a 5-2 game and were able to hold on after Bremen plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Phillips was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs. Morrison and Mauk each had two hits and an RBI, while Jones and Haley Stahl joined Morrison and Mauk with doubles.
Morrison allowed four earned runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
With the series win, LFO has already assured itself of playing at least the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs at home when the tournament starts on Oct. 11.