Although the Cedartown High School softball team dropped its first region series of 2020, the Lady Bulldogs were still able to end a long-standing losing streak versus Central-Carroll.
The Lady Lions visited Cedartown for a doubleheader on Wednesday, Aug. 26, before hosting the Lady Bulldogs at Central High School the next day. The northernmost CHS in Region 7-4A found itself victorious in Game 2, 7-4,, but came up just short in the bookends of the series.
Central scored first in Game 1, as the Lady Lions plated Mary Beth Griffin following a Cedartown error. Thankfully, Lady Bulldog pitcher Emme Arp was able to work herself out of a jam and keep the score 1-0.
Cedartown responded quickly as senior Alexas Poole launched her second home run of the season in the bottom of the second that tied the game at 1-1. Central’s Karley Fuller and the Arp mowed down their opposition throughout the middle innings until the top of the seventh, when the Lady Lions were able to take advantage of Cedartown mistakes once more.
Central brought home three runs in the penultimate half-inning, giving Coach Dave McKenna’s squad the 4-1 victory to start the two-day series.
Alexas Poole (2-for-2) and Taylor Westmoreland (1-for-3) were the only Lady Bulldogs to muster a hit against Central’s ace. Arp pitched the full seven innings, allowing just three earned runs on nine hits and one walk.
Game 2 became a heated battle as the two sides traded runs throughout the first four innings, including Cedartown’s Roslyn Blankenship’s first varsity home run. Her solo shot, paired with a RBI hit by Ava Allred that scored Reagan Peek, allowed Cedartown to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Senior Carile Holland tallied her first major hit of the 2020 campaign with a two-RBI double that scored Marycille Brumby and Kaylee Nikolopoulus, giving the Lady Bulldogs a two-run advantage.
Though Reagan Clarke got into some trouble in the top of the seventh and allowed the Lady Lions to tie it, Cedartown’s offense came through in the clutch.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore catcher Westmoreland crushed a Fuller fastball and sent it soaring into the ditch past the left-center field wall. Her first four-bagger as a Lady Bulldog, a walk-off three-run homer, gave CHS a 7-4 win.
Clarke allowed two earned runs on nine hits and three walks in seven innings. Blankenship was 2-for-3 in the contest with a solo home run while Brumby finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Holland and Allred had one hit each and finished with two RBI and one RBI, respectively. Reagan Peek netted one hit with two runs, Nikolopoulus and Poole were both 1-4 with a run, and Clarke finished with one hit.
Though Westmoreland finished with just one hit versus the Lady Lions in the nightcap, her walk-off ended Cedartown’s 10-game losing streak against Central that dated back to October, 2015.
More fireworks from both teams highlighted Game 3 of the series on Thursday. Central jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead through four innings before Cedartown’s bats woke up.
With the bases loaded, Brumby stepped up and continued her excellence at the plate as the North Georgia commit launched a grand slam — her second home run of the year — to score Clarke, Blankenship, and Nikolopoulus.
Unfortunately that is the best success Cedartown’s offense would find versus Fuller as the Lady Bulldogs fell 6-4.
Clarke picked up the loss, allowing three earned runs on five hits and four walks in six innings in the circle. Peek and Westmoreland were 2-for-4 versus Central in the series-deciding rubber match while Brumby was 1-for-4 with four RBIs. Allred, Blankenship, Clarke, and Nikolopoulus picked up one hit each as well.
The Lady Bulldogs capped off last week with back-to-back wins at a tournament in Haralson County on Saturday as they topped Mt. Zion-Carroll 9-1 and then defeated host Haralson County 8-4.
Poole had a four-RBI game against Mt. Zion, while Clarke added two more. A five-run sixth inning was the deciding factor in Cedartown’s win over the Lady Rebels in the second game.
Cedartown (7-3, 1-2 7-4A) was scheduled to play a region doubleheader at Pickens on Tuesday, Sept. 1, before hosting the Lady Dragons on Thursday at 5 p.m.