Lady Dogs pick up wins
By Nick Nunn
This week was busy for the Morgan County High School Softball teams. The Junior Varsity Lady Dogs won their game against Oconee County 8-0, and the Varsity Lady Dogs played Salem, Oconee County, Athens Christian and Rutland, with a 2-2 record for these four games. The games against Athens Christian and Rutland were pool play for the Lady Dog Invitational. The medal games for the Lady Dog Invitational will take place this coming Saturday at Heritage Park.
The Varsity Lady Dogs won their game against Salem 3-2 last Wednesday, September 5.
Alishia Frierson’s strong pitching performance shut Salem out for the first five innings, but the Lady Dogs were able to score two by the end of the fifth, a RBI by Laree Van Orden in the first inning and RBI single by Dee Pittman in the fourth.
Salem would score two runs before the bottom of the seventh, which tied the game and forced an international tiebreaker.
Victoria Thomas, who had taken the pitching duties over in the sixth inning, held Salem from scoring in the top of the eight inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, however, the Lady Dogs loaded the bases, and the winning run was driven in when Van Orden hit a hard ground ball that was mishandled by the Salem shortstop.
“Frierson and Pittman each picked up two hits for the Lady Dogs. Thomas earned the win,” commented Coach Doug Connelly.
Thursday afternoon, the JV and Varsity Softball teams played Oconee County at home.
The Junior Varsity Lady Dogs won their game against Oconee County 8-0.
The Junior Varsity team got a great start in the bottom of the first inning with a single by Hannah Carver down the first base line. Carver was able to make it to second after Ashley Backus hit a fly ball for an out. During the next at-bat, a passed ball allowed Carver to get to third base, and she scored when Miranda Sneed fouled a pitch off her foot. By the fourth inning was 3-0, and the JV Lady Dogs had two outs when Grance Arienzo hit an RBI single and Jessica Bailey hit a RBI triple, scoring two more runs for Morgan County.
The score going into the bottom of the fifth inning was still 6-0, but it wouldn’t remain there for long. A RBI single by Kilee Norman brought in Brianna Buttrill, and the eighth and final run of the game came in after another passed ball by Oconee, making the score of the game 0-8. At this point, the run rule came into effect, ending the game at the fifth inning for a JV Lady Dogs victory.
The Varsity Softball team was less successful against Oconee County, losing the game 11-2.
Oconee scored three runs in the second inning and then four more runs in the third inning, which were unanswered by the Lady Dogs until the bottom of the third when they scored two runs because of two RBI singles, one by Alishia Frierson and a second by Aubrey Cox, which brought Frierson in to score.
Maddison Busbee took over the pitching duties for Morgan County at the top of the fourth inning, and Oconee didn’t score again until the sixth inning, when an RBI and a home run with two runners on the bases put four more on the board for Oconee. Morgan County wasn’t able to score again during in the sixth inning, and the score of the game came to an end 11-2.
"Oconee hit the ball well throughout their lineup. They don't have a lot of holes offensively. I did not feel like we were as focused as we need to be, and you have to bring your "A" game when you are playing a team like Oconee," said Coach Connelly after Thursday’s game.
The first games of the Lady Dog Invitational also took place this week on Saturday. The first pool to compete for a spot in the three medal games of the Invitational, which will take place this Saturday at Heritage Park, were Athens Christian, Morgan County and Rutland. Each team finished the pool with a 1-1 record, so tiebreaker procedures were used to decide which teams would advance. Morgan County advanced to the gold division of the medal round based on runs allowed, and will play this coming Saturday in the gold medal game.
The other nine teams competing in the tournament will compete in pool play beginning this Friday. These games will determine what teams will play in the bronze, silver, and gold championship games on Saturday.
Coach Connelly described the team’s excitement about the coming tournament.
“Our girls are jacked up about the opportunity to compete for the tournament championship. There will be some great teams that end up in the gold division, but we are looking forward to the opportunity to compete.”
Lady Dogs Invitational
This past Saturday, the first three games of the Lady Dog Invitational were held at Heritage Park in Madison. The three teams that competed on Saturday were the Morgan County Varsity Softball team, Athens Christian and Rutland.
For the first game, Morgan County lost to Athens Christian 9-5, Rutland beat Athens Christian in the second game, and Morgan County beat Rutland in the third and final game of the day 5-0.
The end of the third game was delayed 30 minutes because a lightening strike at the top of the fifth inning, but, the Lady Dogs went out into the rain and got three more outs after the delay so the game could be called as an official game.
Next Saturday, the second round games of the Lady Dog Invitational will be played in Madison. The time of the three medal games will be posted later in the week.
Printed in the September 13 edition.