The Lady Bull­dogs kept a win­ning streak alive last week. Can they keep it up?

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By KEVIN MYRICK Editor

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

her.”

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.

Kevin Myrick/SJ

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...

Photos by Kevin Myrick/SJ

Pep­perell looks to make a play at first.

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