Lady Jack­ets take care of busi­ness in 6-AAA home win

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS SATURDAY - By Alex Far­rer

Com­ing off an emo­tional, hard-fought, ex­tra-in­nings win over their ri­val Sono­rav­ille last Thurs­day, the Cal­houn Lady Jack­ets could’ve looked at the matchup against Murray County, who is win­less in re­gion play this year, and gone through the mo­tions against a lesser op­po­nent. They did the ex­act op­po­site, how­ever.

The Lady Jack­ets looked fo­cused and mo­ti­vated as they jumped on Murray County early and never let up, scor­ing runs in ev­ery in­ning en route to a mercy-rule short­ened 14-1 home vic­tory in four in­nings. Cal­houn (10-2, 8-2 in 6-AAA) also shut it down in the field as they got a short­ened com­pletegame ef­fort from Molly Walker in the cir­cle and played solid de­fense be­hind her.

“I was proud of the way our girls came out and played to­day,” said Cal­houn coach Diane Smith. “We could’ve played down to our com­pe­ti­tion’s level like we have be­fore this year a few times, but they just went about their busi­ness and ev­ery­one did their jobs. You have to treat ev­ery re­gion game as a big one, and we had that kind of at­ti­tude to­day.”

The game started with some of­fen­sive fire­works for the Lady Jack­ets as Lyndi Rae Davis con­nected for an op­po­site-field, two-run homer off the score­board in the first in­ning. Later in the in­ning, Au­drey Wil­banks drove in a run with a sin­gle to make it 3-0.

Cal­houn added three more in the sec­ond in­ning with the big blow be­ing a two-run sin­gle by Erin Barnes. They com­pleted their scor­ing pa­rade with four runs each in the third and fourth in­ning with Car­lie Hen­der­son con­tribut­ing a two-run dou­ble, Davis com­ing through with an RBI-dou­ble and an RBI sin­gle, and Barnes and Molly Walker each con­tribut­ing an RBI- sin­gle. For the day, Davis was 3-for-4 with a homer, dou­ble and five RBIs, and Barnes added three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Walker and Bailee Pullen each con­trib­uted to hits with Pullen scor­ing three times, Molly Banks adding a hit and a run scored and Espee Reyes and Mat­tie Jane Mash­burn scor­ing two runs apiece.

“Our lineup top to bot­tom was good to­day,” said Smith. “We got pro­duc­tion from al­most ev­ery spot, and that’s what I ex­pect out of this team. We have good hit­ters that are ca­pa­ble of get­ting clutch hits at any time no mat­ter if they’re bat­ting first or ninth.”

Walker han­dled the pitch­ing du­ties and earned a win, go­ing four in­nings and al­low­ing one run on just one hit while strik­ing out four, walk­ing two and hit­ting two bat­ters. The only run for Murray County (1-12, 0-9 in 6-AAA) came in the third as Brook­lyn Gon­za­les con­nected for an RBI-sin­gle. Natalie O’Neal also reached twice on walks and Jor­dan Swan­son and At­tie Ri­d­ley each reached on a hit-by-pitch.

“We gave Molly the ball to­day, and she did ex­actly what we needed her to,” said Smith. “She did a good job of mak­ing (Murray County) hit be­hind in the count and hit tough pitches. She didn’t try to strike ev­ery­one out be­cause she knew she had a good de­fense be­hind her, and they helped her out to­day.”

The win keeps Cal­houn within one game of first­place Sono­rav­ille, who they split their reg­u­lar-sea­son se­ries with, in­clud­ing last Thurs­day’s 4-3 vic­tory over the Lady Phoenix in eight in­nings. Smith said her team knows how im­por­tant each re­gion game is from here on out as they try to keep pace with Sono­rav­ille.

“We have to come to play ev­ery sin­gle day,” said Smith. “We need to win out in the re­gion to have a chance at the No. 1 seed, and maybe some­one will give us some help by beat­ing Sono­rav­ille.”

The Lady Jack­ets were on the road at Ringgold on Thurs­day. (For de­tails on that game, see Wed­nes­day’s Cal­houn Times.) They will be on the road on Tues­day as they visit Adairsville at 5:30 p.m. for an­other 6-AAA con­test.

In other re­cent soft­ball ac­tion:

Gor­don Lee 2, Cal­houn 1

prep

The Lady Jack­ets went on the road for a tough non-re­gion test and fell just short thanks to a late Gor­don Lee run.

Cal­houn (10-3) trailed 1-0 go­ing to the sixth but tied it up thanks to an RBI-sin­gle by Molly Walker. How­ever, the Lady Tro­jans an­swered right back with a run of their own in the bot­tom half of the in­ning and held on from there to send the Lady Jack­ets to their first loss since Aug. 13.

Along with Walker’s RBIhit, she also drew a walk in the con­test. Car­lie Hen­der­son added two hits and scored a run, and Au­drey Wil­banks and Lona Sims had the only other two hits for the Lady Jack­ets.

Mag­gie McBrayer took the loss for Cal­houn in the cir­cle, de­spite some solid work for the day. The sopho­more pitched six in­nings and gave up two runs on eight hits while strik­ing out eight and walk­ing three.

TIM GODBEE / For the Cal­houn Times

Cal­houn’s Molly Walker (cen­ter) de­liv­ers a pitch to the plate dur­ing the third in­ning of Tues­day’s game. Walker pitched four in­nings and al­lowed one run to earn the win.

TIM GODBEE / For the Cal­houn Times

Cal­houn’s Lyndi Rae Davis (right) is greeted at home plate by her team­mates af­ter hit­ting a two-run homer in the first in­ning.

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