Rockmart broke open a scoreless contest with a five-run rally in the fourth inning and got a two-run home run from Caroline Conring in an 8-1 win at Pepperell.
The Lady Jackets remain undefeated and in the hunt for a chance at defending their 2017 Class AA state championship. They will be back home today for game against region foe Chattooga, who beat Armuchee 10-0 on Wednesday.
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.
Pepperell is scheduled to play at Armuchee today at 5 p.m.