The Lady Bulldogs kept a winning streak alive last week. Can they keep it up?
Cedartown’s top pitcher, Ava Tillmann, was three outs away from a perfect game with an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning Thursday when her chance was snatched away by Pepperell’s only hit of the game.
But Tillmann shrugged off the hit and put out the next three batters to complete the shutout with eight strikeouts on the day.
“I love my defense behind me, they’re just as good as I am,” she said.
It was the offense that gave Tillmann a shot as the Lady Dragons struggled early to hold off the Cedartown offense.
The Lady Bulldogs had a five-run first inning kick off with an RBI single from Tillmann, followed up by a single from Hayden Claypool and a two-run triple from Tia Covington.
Tia Pryor sacrificed on a 4-3 putout to plate the fifth run.
The offense added another run in the third with a Covington RBI single, then put on two more runs in the fourth.
Tillmann said the win was sweet, but not as sweet as the feeling of pitching and finally getting a regular season win over arch rival Rockmart.
“That really felt good,” she said.
She’s also not worried too much about putting more innings on her arm. She said that the physical pain wasn’t much thus far in the season, and that there’s a big difference between what she was able to do in 2014 as a sophomore, and what she can do now as a junior.
“I definitely feel more mentally strong. I have a better idea of what batters are doing and can adjust to that,” she said.
Head coach Jessica Sanders said she’s happy so far with what her star pitcher has been able to achieve.
“She’s really on fire right now, and she’s working hard,” she said. “She’s making adjustments during the game, and I really couldn’t ask more than that from
That doesn’t mean that Sanders isn’t keeping a close eye on her star pitcher, or the other girls as well.
“We’re really trying to take care of our bodies right now, and fight through that part of the season,” Sanders said. “This is always the hard part, the midway point of the season.”
Thursday’s win made it the fourth in a row for the Lady Bulldogs, who beat Rockmart 3-1 on Tuesday, and had a 13-1 win over Bremen earlier in the week.
“I think the girls are playing well and have gained some confidence here early in the season,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Jessica Sanders said.
Cedartown faces big tests this coming week with a region matchup Tuesday against Haralson County and a road game against Bowdon today. That’s only part of the week.
Starting Friday, the Lady Bulldogs will be part of a 2-day tournament - the Warrior Fastpitch Classic - at North Cobb High School and Kenworth Park in Cobb County.
“We’ve got a tough week ahead of us, but we’ll be ready,” Sanders said.
Lady Bulldogs’ Tia Covington takes a swing Thursday during the early innings agianst Pepeprell.
Left: Lady Bulldogs Ally Dodd grabs a fly ball during the early innings against Pepperell on Sept. 3. Right: Cedartown pitcher Ava Tillmann pitched a shutout against the Lady Dragons, only giving up a single hit on the day late in the game to erase a...
Pepperell looks to make a play at first.