The Gordon Central Lady Warriors had a tough time as they made their way through the first half of the region schedule. But there’s another half to go, and they got it off to a promising start on Wednesday.
The Lady Warriors used solid pitching from their senior standout Morgan Frank and one huge inning to earn a 9-1 home victory in 7-AA action against Model. Gordon Central (6-9, 2-6 in 7-AA) led 2-1 for much of the game but then closed things out with a seven-run sixth to force the mercy rule.
Gordon Central coach Sara Broom said the win was much needed for her team to get something positive going after losing their last four and six straight in region play.
“We’re starting the second half of the region schedule so it was good to get some momentum back on our side,” said Broom. “And it was good to see for the most part, once we started hitting it well in the sixth inning, it was everyone putting the ball in play or getting hits. We needed to see some kind of consistency throughout the lineup, and we were able to get it to close the game strong in the sixth.”
Gordon Central jumped on top first as they scored a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI-groundout by Frank. They then added an insurance run in the third on an RBI-groundout by Javan Vineyard.
Frank kept her team in the lead from there, allowing her only run in the fifth but pitching out of a couple jams, including a first and third situation with two outs in the sixth as she ended the threat with a strikeout. That momentum carried over to the bottom half of the sixth as Gordon Central sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on seven hits, one walk and one hit-by-pitch.
“Things just clicked,” said Broom of her team’s sixth-inning rally. “We’ve been talking about someone stepping up and leading at the plate, and once that happens, others start to follow. We got on a roll in that inning and were able to keep it going.”
Leading the way offensively for the Lady Warriors was Cara Crump, who had a perfect 3-for-3 day with two RBIs and two runs scored. Sam Jordan also had multiple hits as she went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Sarah Crowder added a hit, an RBI, two runs scored and drew two walks, and Vineyard, Frank and Brooklyn Towe each had a hit, an RBI and a run scored apiece. Marissa Self had a hit and an RBI, Kaleigh Rogers contributed a hit and Jada Jaco scored a run.
The offense provided plenty of support for Frank, who earned the win in the circle by pitching the shortened complete game as she went six innings and gave up one run on four hits while striking out an impressive 10 and allowing only one walk.
“We had some plays not go our way early in this game, but with Morgan being a senior she showed that she was our lead and took control out there,” said Broom. “She really put our team on her back today and pitched very well.”
The victory gives the Lady Warriors some confidence as they head down the stretch in the 7-AA slate with six more region games to play. Broom said if her team continues to focus on improving, they will be able to hopefully play their best softball at the right time.
“It will come,” said Broom. “We’ve been working to get better and not keep making the same mistakes. It was good to see us finally put nine runs on the board after a lot of games where we can’t seem to score much at all. We needed that to get some momentum going in the second half of the region schedule.”
Gordon Central is back at home on Thursday to host Coosa at 5 p.m. They will visit Pepperell on Tuesday at 5 p.m. for another 7-AA contest.