It seemed as if every time Bowdon’s offense was able to push a run across on Thursday, Armuchee was right there to answer in the bottom half of the inning. That was the recipe for a huge region win as the Lady Indians got some timely hits and held off a late rally attempt to defeat the Lady Red Devils 8-6 and in the process keep their postseason hopes alive.
Armuchee (8-15-1, 4-5 in Region 6-A Public) scored early to take a 1-0 lead in the first, but Bowdon tied the game with a run in the top of the third. The Lady Indians answered with three in the bottom half of the inning, and that same pattern continued over the next few frames.
Bowdon (6-13, 4-6) scored single runs in each of the fourth and fifth, and each time, Armuchee either matched that score or added an extra tally to their lead.
“That’s what we kept saying today to the girls…just win the inning,” said Armuchee head coach Andy Henderson. “Our goal was to match them or score more every inning. I thought our girls did that well today. They were focused and hit the ball very well. We knocked out their starter, and then we were able to adjust to their second pitcher’s speed and keep adding on runs.”
The Lady Indians took an 8-3 lead into the final inning, and Bowdon put together one final rally stringing together a few hits to score three and cut the deficit to two. But Armuchee’s defense came up with some fundamental plays to put the game to rest.
Leading the offense for Armuchee was Kelsey Wooten with a 3-for-4 day, including a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Izzy Espy came up clutch as well with two doubles and three RBIs.
“Kelsey has just been crushing the ball,” said Henderson. “She’s got to be hitting close to .500 for the season. And Izzy today had some big hits too. We got help from several girls when we needed hits today.”
Sara Harris also had a multi-hit day for Armuchee with two hits, including a double. Kelsie Burkett had a hit and reached base on a walk from the leadoff spot as well as stealing two bases and scoring a run, and Kenzie Osborn contributed a double and two RBIs.
Harris earned the win in the circle as she started and went four innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out one. Burkett pitched three innings of relief and gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out one.
Bowdon had three players with multi-hit efforts, including Mackenzie with a 3-for-4 day with an RBI. Caroline Huggins added two doubles and two runs scored, Carlie Whitman had two hits and an RBI, Ally Bowen contributed a double, an RBI and two runs scored, Makayla Nunn and Jessi Gibbs each had a hit and an RBI and Naomi Kent drove in one.
The victory puts Armuchee into third place in the region standings with one game to play in the regular season as they host Trion on Saturday at 11 a.m.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to be right there in the hunt this late in the season,” said Henderson. “We had a chance going into the last game of the regular season last year…one win away from the state tournament and came up short. We’re right back here again. We’re looking forward to getting that chance again to play for a State berth.”
In other recent softball action:
Model 13, Gordon Central 1
The Lady Devils offense had big night from top to bottom as they put up double-digit hits and runs to roll to a mercy-rule shortened region win at home on Thursday.
Model (4-9, 3-8 in Region 7-AA) got it going with three runs in the first, and then added four in the second, five in the third and one more in the fourth to end the game early thanks to their 12-run lead.
Claire Chamberlain had a huge game, going a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored to lead the offensive efforts, and she also earned the win in the circle as she pitched four innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four.
Madison Reaves also had a multi-hit day for Model with two hits and three RBIs, and Caitlyn O’Guin, Ashely Vicente-Perez and Shaylin Momon all had a hit and an RBI apiece. Sadie Raughton drove in three runs, and Katie Johnston contributed a hit and two runs scored. Julia Shinholster drew a walk, had a stolen base and scored two runs as well.
Model will play again on Monday when they host Darlington for a non-region game at 5 p.m.