MCHS softball opens season vs. George Walton
By Patrick Yost
Morgan County High School Lady Dog Head Coach Doug Connelly hopes senior left-fielder Dee Pittman set the tone for the Dogs 2012 season last Friday in a game with George Walton Academy.
In Pittman's first at bat in the first inning before a home crowd, she ripped a solo home run to give the Lady Dogs an early lead they would not relinquish. The Dogs, in the first of a double-header against 1A second-ranked George Walton, would take the first game 5-4.
Pittman's early shot was aided in the first by a Alisha Freison's RBI double and Laney Crawford's RBI single. The Dogs would start the game with a three-run margin. Both Frieson and Crawford are freshmen, Connelly said, and are examples of a young but talented Lady Dog squad.
George Walton would add two runs in the second to close the gap 3-2 but a two-run fourth inning for Morgan County sealed the game.
The Dogs stalled a George Walton rally in the fifth when George Walton had a runner at second and third with no outs. Shortstop Morgan Hodgson scooped a hard struck ball off the infield and fired a strike to home to get the first out. With runners at second and third senior pitcher Victoria Thomas shut George Walton down with two impressive strike-outs. Thomas would finish the hard-fought game with five strike-outs, four earned runs and five walks.
Connelly was thrilled with the win over a team that deserves the second place ranking. "We've got some real good young talent," he said. "To get a win over them to open the season was really exciting."
"That was very encouraging. Our defensive play was outstanding. We made no errors."
The second game of the double-header would not fare as well for the Lady Dogs. George Walton exploded for five runs in the fourth inning to pad a 7-5 lead and put the game out of reach. "The game just changed and they were all legitimate hits. They were putting the ball where we weren't," Connelly said.
Morgan again scored three runs in the opening stanza but were matched by George Walton. At the top of the fourth the margin was 7-5 when George Walton struck.
The game was called after five innings when George Walton managed another run and the eight-run rule took effect.
Despite the loss, Connelly was pleased with the effort. "We're still figuring ourselves out," he said. "I'm proud of the where we are right now. We're ahead of where I thought we would be."
Printed in the August 16, 2012 edition