Lady Jackets winning big
Rockmart squad finally takes first loss of season against Chattooga
The first game after the Labor Day holiday last Wednesday signaled the final month of the high school softball regular season for a pair of Region 7-AA teams.
And both know there is still plenty to do in that month.
Rockmart broke open a scoreless contest with a five-run rally in the fourth inning and got a two-run homer from Caroline Conring in an 8-1 win at Pepperell last week.
Then they finally hit a roadblock at Chattooga the following day.
The Lady Jackets remained undefeated through Sept. 5’s game, and remain strong in the hunt for a chance at defending their 2017 Class AA state championship.
Pepperell (7-3, 4-3 7-AA) used its skills in the field to keep Rockmart at bay in the early going as the visitors had two base runners and pitcher Sydnie Edwards allowed just one hit through three innings. Rockmart coach Steve Luke said the down time over the holiday played into their sluggish start.
“We made some adjustments, but some of those came late. We would have liked to have scored a few more runs, but when the last out’s made and you win, you win,” he said. “Pepperell made some great defensive plays. It seemed like every hard ball we hit went right at them, and they made the plays.”
Emily Loveless worked a complete game on the mound for the Lady Jackets and struck out eight while allowing six hits. She went 3 for 4 at the plate with two doubles and two runs scored. Rockmart (14-0, 8-0) finished with 14 hits and neither pitcher gave up a walk.
“We played pretty well in the first three innings, but in that fourth inning they got the ball in play and we kind of threw it around a bit. But that’s what good teams do,” Pepperell coach Jeff Rickman said. “We’re still a work in progress. We’re going to work to get better for the end of this month, and that’s what these kids are doing.”
Loveless got the Lady Jackets started in the fourth inning with a leadoff double followed by four straight hits to spearhead the game’s biggest offensive display, putting Rockmart up 5-0.
Maycy Owens reached on a throwing error on Pepperell’s first at-bat in the bottom of the frame, stole second and then scored on a line drive to left field by Maddie Clay. The next three Lady Dragons were retired to end the inning. Owens got a single and made it to third in the sixth but was left stranded.
Rockmart’s Kinsey Jones finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. She had a leadoff double in the seventh and was brought in by Conring’s sixth home run of the season to set the final score.
Emilee Maulding went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Lady Jackets, while Cambree Stanley, Carlee Graham and Conring all went 2 for 4.
The Lady Jackets went on later in the week to play Chattooga, and finally found themselves on the losing side of a ball game. Neither team were able to put up a score through the first three innings, and
Rockmart broke the deadlock in the bottom of the fourth and scored a run.
Chattooga stormed back with a trio of runs in the top of the fifth, and added another in the seventh before a Rockmart 2-run rally in the bottom half of the inning was cut short for the loss.
Though the undefeated streak ended, Rockmart still has a lot of games left to win before they even get a whiff of the playoffs.
They were set to head
to Model after press time on Tuesday, and then host Cedartown today with a 4:30 p.m. start before Armuchee comes to town on Thursday.
Upcoming region games include trips to Coosa on Sept. 18 and to Dade County on Sept. 20, tournament play on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, and then wrapping up the season at home for Senior Night against Gordon Central on Sept. 24, and the regular season’s end against Haralson County on the road on Sept. 25.
Rockmart’s T’Nia Lakes (right) slides into third base ahead of the tag by Pepperell’s Maddie Clay during the first inning of a Region 7-AA game Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in Lindale.
Rockmart shortstop Kinsey Jones (left) watches the throw to second base as Pepperell’s Josie McGraw slides for the steal during the second inning of a Region 7-AA game in Lindale on Wednesday.