By R. Alan Richardson
Morgan faced off with perennial region contender Franklin County last week in a game that saw the squad come out on the losing end 5-2. Had it not been for two spectacular plays by the Lady Lions in the late innings with runners in scoring position, this one could have gone the other way. Morgan had runners on first and second in the fifth inning when Sadie Worth hit a dart into right centerfield. Franklin’s right fielder made a diving catch with two outs to save what possibly could have been two runs for the Lady Dogs. An inning later Franklin turned an unusual 2-6-2 double play with runners on first and third that killed the rally and the possible comeback.
Catcher Madison Henry put the team ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first with a moon shot to left field that left no doubt. Franklin tied things up in the second with a run of their own even though the Lady Dogs turned a double play in the inning from shortstop Alissa Webb to Mary Trent Chandler at first.
Morgan led 2-1 after the third when Webb singled and scored on some heads up base running by Henry after she walked and was caught in a rundown between first and second. The fourth inning was Morgan’s downfall as Franklin sent three runners across home. Three Morgan errors in the inning didn’t help Sarah Ellen Mercer’s cause in the circle. She pitched well in a losing effort and was relieved in the fourth by lefty McKenna Camp. Both pitchers kept Franklin off balance most of the evening with their off speed stuff and changeups.
The Lady Lions pushed one more run across in the seventh before Webb came to the mound to minimize the damage. Reign Williams was 2-3 in the outing and Henry was 1-1 with two walks. Mercer gave up six hits and walked four while Camp did not give up a hit in three innings of work. Webb was outstanding at her shortstop position accounting for two double plays. One was unassisted. After a nice catch on a line drive, she dove to tag out the runner getting back to second base.
Coach Jason McBay was optimistic after the loss saying, “We are just a few plays or hits here and there from being the team we want to be. I was very very pleased with our pitchers today. All we ask of them is to compete! Sarah Ellen, McKenna, and Webb all did that today. We make four errors in one inning and that was the turning point in the game. Franklin has a great program. Coach Oliver is not only a great coach, but also a great person. You have to tip your hat to them on the win, but I felt like we could have played better. The two biggest things for us right now are patience amongst the coaching staff and accountability and learning from mistakes for our players.”
Next up for the Lady Dogs will be Thursday, August 31 at Jackson County starting at 5:55. JV will also play that day at 4:15. On Friday, September 1 the Lady Dogs will face off with Putnam County in a home matchup beginning at 4:15 and will then play Tift County the same day at 7:45.