By R. Alan Richardson
After losing a heartbreaker to Region 8-AAA opponent Monroe Area on Tuesday, the Lady Diamond Dogs made a strong comeback Friday by defeating both Putnam County and Tift County in a doubleheader in Madison. Tuesday’s game saw a 2-1 seventh inning lead for Morgan evaporate in one swing of the bat. With a runner on and victory in their sights, the Lady Dogs watched a Monroe Area walk off homerun sail over the fence to dash their hopes of a big Region win. However, the loss did not deter the young team from coming out swinging and winning two games Friday by scores of 13-0 over Putnam and 9-0 over AAAAAAA opponent Tift in mercy rule fashion. Tift defeated Putnam 15-0 in the middle game of the evening.
Morgan rode the arm of senior transfer pitcher Katee Finney in both wins. She was stout from the get-go pitching all but one inning of the doubleheader striking out seven in the opener vs. Putnam and four in the nightcap over Tift. In three innings of work against the Lady War Eagles Finney only faced 11 batters giving up only one hit while McKenna Camp came in to record the final three outs of the fourth and final at bat for Putnam. Finney continued her domination against Tift although she had to fight through a few control problems during the five innings she pitched.
Putnam was never in the game as the Lady Dogs took batting practice with 14 hits in the contest. Leading the way for Morgan were Alissa Webb going 2-3, Madison Henry 2-3, Sadie Worth 3-3, Dakota Cepuran 2-3, and MacKenzie Torbush 2-2. Worth ripped two doubles in the game with 4 RBI’s, but saved her best for the second game.
Morgan and Tift went two scoreless innings before the Lady Dogs came up big at the plate in the third and fourth frames. They batted around and put five runs on the board in the third with four bunt singles in the inning. It was also a base running clinic put on by the players and coaches as the aggressive legs had Tift completely out of sync defensively. Mary Trent Chandler had the big blow of the inning with a resounding double into the left centerfield gap that drove in the final run of the inning. The next at bat was more of the same with key hits coming off the bats of Madison Henry and Worth again. Henry doubled to the centerfield fence to score Webb and Hannah Callaway and Worth followed it up with a towering homerun to left field that landed right in the lap of her family that was attending. This was Worth’s first career homerun and the emotions (tears) flowed as she came across home and into the dugout. She was surrounded by her teammates with hugs and high fives all around. Coach Jason McBay told her, “I knew it was gone when it left your bat. I’m so proud of and for you!” It was the final run for Morgan as the Lady Blue Devils couldn’t put a run up in the fifth.
After the game McBay gathered his troops on the grass in left field and told them, “A lot of people have probably already counted us out after losing to Franklin and Monroe, but I’m telling you right now that if we play like we did tonight, we can play with anybody. We did the little things, adjusted at the plate, and have owned and learned from our mistakes. I love each and every one of you and love coaching you. If you don’t know that by now, I’m not doing my job as a coach. I’d rather be sitting in that dugout with you than any other team around.” This team is not going away, folks. Let’s get behind them and see how far they can take this thing.
In other news: JV gets third win against Monroe Area
The junior varsity Lady Dogs went to 3-3 on the season after an easy 15-3 outing Tuesday on the road. Freshman Sarah Ellen Mercer pitched four strong innings in the circle and had plenty of backup at the plate. Nicole Edwards reached base in every at bat that included a three RBI triple. Maeson Tanner also had great at bats and stole multiple stolen bases in the rout. The middle was plugged on defense by superior play from Karlie Lane and Gracie Williams. Both also reached base in each of their plate appearances. Sara Peppers continued her hot streak at the plate by driving the ball into the gaps. Coach Timothy (Tim) Roop said, “All-in-all it was a great effort by all the girls. I look forward to watching this group grow and develop and I am excited to be a part of it.”