The Standard Journal

Lady Bulldogs sweep SE Whitfield on senior night

♦ Brumby hits three home runs in region doublehead­er

- By Logan Maddox logansethm­

Despite facing unfavorabl­e circumstan­ces, Cedartown’s softball team was able to register two big Region 7-4A victories on Senior Night to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Lady Bulldogs (14-13, 7-8) swept winless Southeast Whitfield (0-24, 0-18) last Wednesday, Sept. 29. A sudden medical emergency meant that the team would be without their first-year head coach, Jaime Monroe, in the Senior Night doublehead­er.

Additional­ly, assistant coach Dustin Little missed the game due to the birth of his child, so Cedartown was led by Cedartown baseball head coach (and former softball assistant) Gevin Johnson, along with usual assistant Steven Nikolopoul­us.

Although they were without their usual head coach and assistant, the Lady Bulldogs wasted no time making an impact. They exploded for three runs in the first inning of Game 1, then added two runs in the second and six runs in the third.

After giving up a run to the Lady Raiders in the top of the fourth, senior first baseman Marycille Brumby blasted a two-run walk-off homer to secure a 13-1 run-rule victory in four innings.

Brumby finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run with five RBI and four runs scored. Makayla Jordan was 3-for-3 with a double and three runs while Kaylee Nikolopoul­us went 2-for-2 with one run batted in and one run scored. Taylor Westmorela­nd (1-3, RBI, R), Reagan Clarke (1-3, R), Ivari Boozer (1-2, 2 RBI, R), Morgan Isabell (1-3, R), Emma Tuck (1-3), and Hayvin Barclay (2-3, RBI) also tallied hits in Game 1.

Senior right-hander Emme Arp gave up one unearned run on four hits and one walk in four innings pitched. She had three strikeouts as well.

Cedartown picked up another big win in Game 2, but it started out as a very tight matchup.

Southeast Whitfield raced out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but the Lady Bulldogs picked up a big response in the home-half of inning No. 2. Cedartown tallied five runs, aided by a four-run mishap by the Lady Raider second baseman.

Brumby led off the next inning with a solo blast as part of a nine-run third. After the Lady Bulldogs batted around, Brumby notched a threerun homer later in the frame as well. Clarke tallied the final three outs in the top of the fourth to sure-up the 14-2 win.

Brumby led the team again, going 2-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI, and two runs. Clarke was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, and Boozer finished 2-for-2 with two runs and one run batted in. Nine of Cedartown’s ten batters in Game 2 either tallied a hit, scored, or drove in a run against the Lady Raiders.

Junior ace Reagan Clarke received the four-inning victory after allowing two earned runs in four innings. She allowed five hits and one walk while striking out five Southeast Whitfield batters.

“I’m 2-0, and I’m retiring now,” interim coach Gevin Johnson said. “I’m going to go out on top.”

“I am so proud of this team and their fight going into the second half of the season,” head coach Jaime Monroe said. “It was killing me not being there, especially with it being Senior Night and not being there inperson to celebrate our five awesome seniors.”

Monroe stated that she followed along to the game via a livestream posted by WGAA Radio. “It was bitterswee­t. I was so thankful to have that livestream so I could at least watch, but it was extremely hard not being there,” Monroe said. “I knew they were in good hands though. Coach Steven (Nikolopoul­us) does an awesome job for our program and brings a lot of knowledge to the game. Huge shoutout to coach Gevin Johnson as well for stepping in when we were down a couple coaches. He has a lot to bring to the table and I knew they were in good hands, which gave me some relief.”

While each of Cedartown’s five seniors (Arp, Brumby, Isabell, Nikolopoul­us, and Tuck) made big impacts in the doublehead­er, the story of the day had to be the tear that Marycille Brumby continued. After hitting two four-baggers at Oconee County the weekend prior, the senior hit three homers in the two games on Wednesday. The North Georgia commit is now tied for the state’s lead with 11 home runs on the season.

“Man, she is a beast. I have not seen many kids that can hit a ball as hard as she does,” Monroe said. “I have a saying of trying to hit the ball through the fence and not over it, and the kid hits lasers every time she’s up. She’s huge for us, but we have learned that teams will walk her and I’m very impressed with her teammates stepping up around her and getting the job done. If we continue to do that then teams will be forced to throw to her more if we can make a little run in the playoffs.”

Finally, the first-year head coach wanted to give a special shout-out to her five seniors.

“They are a great group of kids, and that’s even more important than their athletic ability,” Monroe said. “I hate that I only got to coach them for one year, but they are just great kids, and they all bring something to the table to help make us successful. Every single one of them will do amazing things, I know it.”

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs is their final regular season series. Cedartown is scheduled to face Region 7-4A foe Northwest Whitfield (18-8, 9-6) three times this week to close out the regular season. It is a hugely important series, as Northwest Whitfield is currently third in the region standings, one spot ahead of Cedartown.

“This series will help us get into the playoffs. We need to be very discipline­d on defense and make the plays we need,” Monroe said. “Northwest is a very solid team that doesn’t make many mistakes. They have two pretty good pitchers as well, so I’m excited to see how we match up with them.”

“Getting into the playoffs right now is our goal, and then obviously we hope we can make a little run in the playoffs,” Monroe said. “We are very

capable of all these things.

We play in a very tough region and think that will help us going into the postseason.”

The Lady Bulldogs will host the Lady Bruins for a doublehead­er on Tuesday in likely the final home games of the 2021 season. The series will finish with one game at Northwest Whitfield High School in Tunnel Hill at 5:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Fans unable to make it to any of the games can tune into WGAA’s broadcast over the radio, or through their livestream­s on Facebook Live, YouTube, and the NFHS Network.

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