Varsity Softball Recap – Week of 8/22-8/27

After a tough start to the week, the MCHS varsity softball team rebounded with three wins to push their overall record to 6-4 and 1-1 in region 8-AAA play.

The Lady Dogs began the week with a trip to Franklin County on Tuesday, August 23.  Morgan County jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the top of the third inning.  However, the Franklin bats woke up in the bottom half of the third.  The Lady Lions, one of the frontrunners in the 8-AAA region race, struck for nine runs in the home half of the third.  Morgan County did not respond in the 4th, and Franklin added three more runs to increase its lead to 12-3.  The Lady Dogs were held scoreless again in the 5th.  With a nine-run lead after 4.5 innings of play, the GHSA mercy rule was brought into effect.

There was little time for the Lady Dogs to dwell on the Franklin loss with East Jackson, another 8-AAA favorite, coming into town on Thursday.  East Jackson took two of three from the Lady Dogs in 2015 and return several starters including all-region pitcher Jessie Marvin.  Morgan would strike first in the home half of the 1st inning as sophomore Alissa Webb hit a solo home run, her second long ball of the season.  The Lady Dogs would build on the 1-0 lead in their next turn at the plate.  Senior Sydney Walker singled to lead off the inning.  Bryanna Mims came on to pinch run for Walker and promptly stole second base.  Madison Henry and Maddie Kinnett each executed bunts that resulted in miscues by Eagle defenders, which ultimately led to two runs for Morgan County.  The 3-0 score after two innings of play would end up being the final score, as both pitchers stymied opposing batters the rest of the way.  East Jackson was only able to get two runners in scoring position during the contest.  Senior pitcher Ansley Dean went the distance for the Lady Dogs, surrendering just two hits.  Dean retired 15 of the final 16 batters she faced as the Morgan defense played flawlessly behind her.

Morgan County closed the week with a trip to the University of West Georgia on Saturday to take on Parkview and Cedartown, who had combined for only two losses heading into the day.  First up for the Lady Dogs was a date with Parkview.  Parkview jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first and threatened to break the game wide open in the second.  The Panthers were able to load the bases with no outs, but hurler Ansley Dean and the Morgan County defense were able to somehow end the inning unscathed.  Elizabeth Couch fielded a missile and elected to go home for the force play to record out number one.  Dean induced an infield popup for the second out and struck out the Panthers’ two hole hitter to end the inning.  The Lady Dogs evened the score in the second.  Pitcher Ansley Dean led off with a double.  Mary Trent Chandler then moved courtesy runner Zoey Brown to third base with a sacrifice bunt.  Bryanna Mims then squeezed Brown in to even the score.  Parkview strung together a couple of hits in the third that helped them to reclaim the lead at 2-1.  The score remained 2-1 until the Lady Dogs struck for three runs in the bottom of the 5th inning.  The Lady Dogs collected five hits in the inning with Sarah Couch, Liz Couch, and Ansley Dean each picking up RBIs with base hits.  Morgan County made the 4-2 lead stand up as they picked up their second consecutive victory.

The Lady Dogs would close the afternoon with a 6-5, extra-inning win over Cedartown.  Freshman Nicole Edwards started the game in the circle for the Lady Dogs and held Cedartown scoreless for six innings.  Morgan County picked up three runs in the first, one in the second, and two more in the third to take a commanding 5-0 lead.  After being held scoreless for six innings, Cedartown stormed back in the seventh.  Edwards was able to retire the first batter she faced in the 7th before surrendering four consecutive hits.  Ansley Dean came on in relief and was able to slow the attack but not before the Cedartown was able to tie the game at 5.  The Lady Dogs were unable to score in the bottom of the 7th, which sent the game to extra frames.  Dean remained in the circle for Morgan and struck out the side.  Under international tiebreaker rules, Elizabeth Couch began the inning on second base.  Couch advanced by stealing third place.  On the next pitch, Couch came hard down the line and drew a throw from the catcher.  The throw glanced off the glove of the shortstop covering third base, which allowed Couch to cross the plate for the deciding run.

The Lady Dogs will look to extend their three game winning streak as region foes Monroe Area and Jackson County visit Madison this week.  The Lady Dogs will take on Monroe Area at 6:00 Tuesday and face Jackson County at 5:30 Thursday.