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PREP SOFTBALL: Rome ends a long drought while still working to improve

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After waiting out a lengthy weather delay Monday night, the Lady Wolves completed a 16-8 run-rule win over Paulding County in Dallas to give Rome its first win over a region opponent since 2013. The team then struggled to settle in against Cass at home Tuesday evening on the way to a 9-1 loss to the Lady Colonels.

The opposite results of the two Region 7-5A contests were equal parts evidence for what head coach Emily Herren said she has been trying to impart to Rome’s players.

“Each player has to be all in and committed to what their role is on the team instead of feeling sorry for themselves when they mess up,” Herren said after Tuesday’s game. “Last night’s win was all on the girls. They’ve worked harder than anyone can imagine and they deserve that. But I want them to realize they can do that more.”

Monday’s victory not only broke a drought for the Lady Wolves in region competition, it also ended a month-long 12-game losing streak. Rome did not play a region schedule the last two seasons.

The Lady Wolves (4-15, 1-10 7-5A) opened with a 10-run rally in the first inning against Paulding County, giving them a huge boost through the rest of the game.

A handful of defensive errors allowed the Lady Patriots to chip away at Rome’s lead. Paulding outscored Rome 8-2 over the next five innings, but Rome put up four runs in the sixth and held the Lady Patriots scoreless in the bottom of the frame.

“I think the biggest part of that game was our confidence at the plate. We got back to what we had done so well early on in the year by attacking strikes early in the count and playing as a unit,” Herren said. “There were still some things that we could clean up, but we got back all of the runs we had allowed. Instead of just quitting when we were up 10-0 we came back and made a statement.”

Sophomore pitcher McKenzie McNitt started for Rome and freshman Maci Andrews came on in the fourth and shut the door on Paulding, going the final 2 1/3 innings and allowing only 1 run to seal the victory.

Abi Curry went 2 for 5 with five RBIs, Madison Ingram went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Andrews finished 2 for 2 with two RBIs and three walks.

Tuesday’s game was marked by some untimely defensive errors for Rome which allowed Cass to take an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning. A pair of base running mistakes then kept the Lady Wolves from getting any momentum early.

Curry put Rome on the board in the fourth with a one-out hit over the right fielder that went to the wall and allowed the sophomore to round the bases for a solo inside-the-park home run.

The Lady Wolves will try to make it back in the win column Thursday when they host East Paulding.