Ringgold Tigers

The Ringgold Lady Tigers will begin defense of their Class AAA state championship next week, but will have a long road to navigate as they enter playoffs as the No. 4 seed from Region 6.

Ringgold traveled to Rockmart on Thursday for the third-place game in 6-AAA and rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to take a 5-2 lead going in the bottom of the fifth.

However, the Lady Jackets scored twice in the bottom of the fifth before tying the game an inning later. Rockmart later pushed home the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh to score a 6-5 victory.

Gracey Arnold belted a two-run homer for Rockmart the bottom of the first inning, but Ringgold would get three singles in the top of the third. The last single resulted in an RBI for Riley Nayadley, which cut the home team's lead in half.

Then in the top of the fourth, the Lady Tigers got a walk and a single and a stolen base by Autumn Green before Zoey DeFoor would come through with an RBI-hit to tie the game, 2-2.

Ringgold got its first run in the big inning as Baileigh Pitts scored on an error. Caroline Hemphill then fouled off five pitches in a row before lacing an two-run single.

But in the bottom of the fifth, Alexis Teems ripped a two-run double, which was followed an inning later by a solo homer off the bat of Megan Johnson, knotting things up, 5-5.

Ringgold would leave runners at first and second in the top of the seventh, giving Rockmart one final chance to win it in regulation. The Lady Jackets would get two singles and walk before Emilee Register delivered the game-winning RBI-hit.

Alyissa Sue pitched the first six innings for Ringgold. She allowed five earned runs on seven hits and three walks, while finishing with two strikeouts. Maddy Bacon surrendered two hits and two walks in her one inning of relief. The run she allowed was earned.

Nayadley went 3 for 3, while Hemphill and DeFoor both finished with two hits.

Ringgold (17-10) will open the playoffs on the road next week. The Lady Tigers will travel to Ellijay for a best-of-three series against Region 7 champion Gilmer in the first round.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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