At the rain-shortened, season-opening Chick-fil-A Classic softball tournament, hosted by Harlem High School, the Lady Bulldogs and Grovetown High School’s Lady Warriors got in two games apiece Friday.
The 12-team tournament at Patriots Park was supposed to be a two-day affair, but rain washed away the Saturday slate.
The Lady Warriors were 0-21 in 2011 and their night began with a 4-2 loss to Thomson. They would have no such issue in the nightcap, beating Hephzibah (0-1) 10-3.
“I’ve been here since the very beginning when we only had nine people, so that was tough,” said first baseman Megan Murphy. “I actually have a lot of hope after this.”
The Lady Warriors trailed 3-1 after the first inning as sophomore pitcher Jasmine Gonzalez walked the first four batters. She retired the next three – the last two on strikeouts – and the Lady Rebels were done. Gonzalez finished the game allowing one hit, striking out 10 and walking only two more after the first inning.
“First inning I usually do end up starting off a little slow,” said Gonzalez. “I have to get in my jam and know what the umpires are going to call and where they want it.”
With the Lady Warriors trailing 3-2, Murphy got a clutch two-run single in the third inning. Grovetown scored five runs in the inning and took an insurmountable 7-3 lead.
Harlem fell to Elbert County 2-1 in its opening game but rebounded to thump Christian Heritage Academy 19-0 (three innings) in the nightcap.
“We have to keep working hard, but we’ll be OK,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Mike Leverett said.
Facing Elbert County, the Lady Bulldogs had a bad start, allowing the Lady Devils two first-inning runs.
Lady Bulldogs’ pitcher Kristin Rawlins (0-1) gave up two of her three hits and two of her three walks in that inning.
She was bested by the Lady Devils’ Devyn Terry (1-0) who kept the Lady Bulldogs off balance, striking out nine and allowing just two hits.
Lindsey Stokes got both of the Lady Bulldogs’ hits, including an RBI single in the final inning.
“We didn’t hit and we win when we hit,” said Leverett. “We had opportunities. We had the tying run in scoring position in the final inning.”
Sophomore pitcher Amber Garrett (1-0) picked up the win in the Christian Heritage Academy game.