The Calhoun Middle School softball team was bolstered by solid contributions from its lineup and a steady performance from the pitching circle against Cass Middle School on Tuesday, but fell just short of victory due to a final-inning rally by the Lady Colonels in a 7-4 defeat.

At the plate, the Lady Jackets were led by Esperanza Reyes, who posted a 2-for-3 night with two doubles and an RBI, Molly Banks, who collected two hits and drove in a run, Molly Speach, who collected two hits and a stolen base and Malysha Winston, who crushed a towering solo home run late in the game.

McKensey Ingle had the Lady Colonels off balance in the batter’s box for the majority of the matchup, holding opposing batters hitless and scoreless for the first four innings and striking out one.

The Lady Jackets had total command of the game through the first four frames, jumping on Cass 3-0 early. However, the Lady Colonels managed to connect on a two-run homer in the fifth to make things interesting. Even though Calhoun appeared to seal the victory with Winston’s homer in the fifth, Cass cobbled together a handful of extra base hits in the last frame to take the game, 7-4.

“I thought we hit the ball well in the early innings, but we left too many runners on base,” Calhoun head coach Tony Lindsey said after the game. “Our pitching was great too, we were pitching a perfect game until the last two innings. We just let them stay in the game too long.”

Despite the loss, the Lady Jackets did have the chance to honor and celebrate a spectacular eighth-grade class before the game during the Eighth-Grade Night ceremony.

“They are all just great girls,” Lindsey said. “They went on such a good run here, and I am excited to see what they do at the next level.”

In other recent middle school sports action:

Softball

-The Red Bud Middle School varsity softball squad topped Woodland in a region game last week. The Lady Phoenix claimed a 4-0 victory against the Wildcats. Grace Crocker, Taylor Dotson, Arielle Evans and Olyvia Hopper each contributed. Hopper posted the biggest night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI-double to kick off the scoring in the first inning. Taylor Long registered a complete game one-hitter, striking out 12 batters and walking one.

The Lady Phoenix followed that up with a dominant 19-0 victory over South Central. Long and Hopper combined to pitch a no-hitter.

Red Bud closed out its week with an impressive 10-1 victory against Cartersville a couple of days later in which they invoked the mercy rule. Seven of the nine batters in the lineup registered hits in the contest, with Hopper adding two doubles and Scarlett Hunter chipping in a double. Long registered another great pitching effort, throwing a complete game, only surrendering one hit and striking out 13 batters.

Red Bud’s recent string of victories have allowed them to remain undefeated on the season. Along with Calhoun’s loss to Cass this week, the Lady Phoenix sit at first place in the region as they headed into a crucial matchup versus the Lady Jackets at Red Bud on Thursday.

Football

-The Ashworth Warriors utilized contributions from all members of the team as it picked up a huge 27-14 victory at home over Coosa Middle on Tuesday.

A strong effort from the Warrior defense was led by Brison McGinnis, Cade Hendrix, Ethan Hendrix and Braxton Carnes. The blue and white defensive unit forced three turnovers.

McGinnis posted a monster all-around day for Ashworth. He had over 100 all-purpose yards, scored a TD, forced a fumble, had an interception and also blocked a punt.

Alongside McGinnis, quarterback Randyn Burns helped lead a potent offense. Burns had two TD passes, one to McGinnis and one to wide receiver Randall Carnes. He also had a two-yard TD run.

On special teams, Michael Garcia had a great day punting. Garcia also converted on all his extra point tries and added a 20-yard field goal to help seal the win.

-The Red Bud Phoenix also enjoyed success in its latest matchup, gaining a 33-6 region win over the Woodland Wildcats.

Golf

-The Red Bud Middle boys golf team clinched a first-place win in match play on Tuesday. Leading the way for the group was Alec Strickland, Jasper Johns, Noah Caldwell and Easton Childs.

The Red Bud Middle girls team registered a second-place finish. The team enjoyed solid performances from Catie Hulsey and Janey Kate King.

-The Ashworth golf team had another successful day at the Cartersville Country Club this week. The girls finished second behind Calhoun by two strokes and edged out Cartersville by one and Adairsville by 16. Brooke Wilson and Lindsey Lowrance posted scores of 55 each.

The Ashworth boys finished third ahead of Adairsville. Leading the team was Matthew Spence with a 48.

Cross Country

-The Ashworth cross country team competed in the Billy Goat Trail Challenge last Thursday in what proved to be one of the more difficult races of the season over rocky terrain.

For the girl’s team, the top finisher was Cora Stepp, followed closely by Amber Pickens, Adriana Reyes, Star Rolon and Thea Holden.

For the Ashworth boys team, the top finisher was Alan Osorio, and behind him were Yostin Reyes, Julian Taracena, Dawson Semon and Ethan Patino.

-The Red Bud cross country team competed at Cass this past week.

The girls team was bolstered by a stellar performance by Dayleigh Dress, who finished in first place overall, and the team placing in the top five. Veronica Williams, Lizeth Bautista, Kunlee Austin and Kaylie Jacobo ran well for the girls.

The Red Bud boys racers also finished in the top five. Top performers included Ross Stewart, Tyler Johns, Eli Walraven, Dustin Fortenberry, Andrew Carey and JT Vess.

-The Calhoun Middle School cross country teams recently competed in the County Championship along with Ashworth and Red Bud.

The boys defended their title for the third consecutive year by scoring 32 points. The girls narrowly missed out winning the title by less than nine points, by posting 42 points.

Kates Cortes led the charge for the girls with her second-place finish. Rounding out scoring for the girls was Anna Brannon in fourth, Laly Martinez in 11th, Indara Santiago in 12th and Kiara Fernandez in 13th.

The boys were led by Angel Santiago and his first-place finish. This is the second straight season a Calhoun boy has won the individual title. Rounding out scoring was seventh grader Cristian Delgado in fourth, Diego Jaramillo in eighth, Owen Knight in ninth and David Perez in 10th.