In last week’s matchups with the no. 1 team in the state, Heritage-Catoosa, the Cedartown softball team walked away with one blowout loss and two heartbreaking finishes.
The Lady Bulldogs lost the Region 7-4A series opener 10-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 8, before coming up just short in Game 2 of the doubleheader, 4-6, and then again in Game 3 in Ringgold on Thursday, 5-6.
The two-time defending state champion Lady Generals picked up a big 10-0 victory in Game 1 with Clemson commit Rachel Gibson pitching a gem at Cedartown High School.
The senior ace took a perfect game bid into the seventh inning before Cedartown’s Roslyn Blankenship reached on a single to open the home half of the final inning. Another hit from Ava Allred is all Cedartown could muster.
Reagan Clarke allowed nine earned runs in seven innings, giving up 13 hits and walking four while striking out five Heritage batters. Gibson, on the other hand, recorded 15 strikeouts, allowing two hits and walking none.
The nightcap was much more fortuitous for the Lady Bulldogs. Although Heritage raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings, Cedartown inched closer when Alexas Poole clobbered her fifth home run of the season. The solo shot made it a 5-1 ballgame. Heritage scored once more in the third, but that would be the final time they added to the scoreboard.
Cedartown struck again in the bottom of the fifth as Poole scored Allred on a RBI double and a Taylor Westmoreland sac fly brought home Marycille Brumby. The fifth-inning rally, which cut Heritage’s lead to 6-3, was followed by another scoring chance in the sixth. Reagan Peek touched home plate after Blankenship doubled, cutting the deficit to two runs.
Cedartown’s defense worked out of a one-out jam in the top of the seventh when Peek caught a would-be sacrifice fly in right field and doubled-up the runner trying to score from home.
Despite having the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady Bulldogs could not extend the game and instead fell 6-4.
Poole was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run in Game 2, while Carlie Holland finished 2-for-3. Brumby and Peek each went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Junior Emme Arp allowed three earned runs in six innings and giving up eight hits and two walks while ringing up one batter. Clarke came in and pitched in the seventh, recording one strikeout.
Heritage was pushed to its limit in Game 3 in Ringgold on Thursday as Cedartown came very close to handing the Lady Generals their first region loss since Sept. 13, 2018.
In the second inning, Holland reached on a base hit to left field, scoring Poole from third. One batter later, Blankenship tallied a two-run double to give Cedartown a 3-0 advantage. Heritage’s talented offense was able to wipe away the Lady Bulldogs’ first lead of the series, tying the game in the bottom of the second.
In the fourth inning, Cedartown took the lead back. A two-out triple by Clarke preceded an infield single by Blankenship, scoring Clarke and giving the Lady Bulldogs a 4-3 lead. But Heritage scored in the sixth to tie the game once more.
In the top of the seventh inning, Westmoreland drove home Allred, giving Cedartown a 5-4 advantage. As fate would have it, a two-out walk-off single by UT-Chattanooga commit Riley Kokinda scored two runs and carried Heritage to a 6-5 triumph.
Although Reagan Clarke gave up 11 hits to Heritage, she only allowed one earned run. The sophomore struck out two and walked one. Blankenship finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Alexas Poole was 2-for-4 with one run.