Lady Jack­ets win­ning big

Rock­mart squad fi­nally takes first loss of sea­son against Chat­tooga

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Jeremy Ste­wart jstew­[email protected]

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.

/ Jeremy Ste­wart

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.

/ Jeremy Ste­wart

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.

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