By R. Alan Richardson
Senior Alissa Webb and sophomore Reign Williams came up big on Senior Night producing five of the team’s eight runs. The duo combined to go 6-8, score four runs, and drive in two more. Webb had doubles in both outfield gaps to go along with another single in the sixth inning. Williams’ three singles helped get Webb across three times. Pinch runner Carlie Lane ran for catcher Williams to score a run and steal three bases in the win. McKenzie Torbush also singled twice and scored a run. Another senior, Jenna Lyons, in her first year with Morgan County after transferring, got the win in the circle with a strong outing.
The girls struck first with a run in the first inning with two outs. Webb laced a one-hopper to the left centerfield fence before an error on Williams’ laser to the Rockdale shortstop was too hot to handle to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead. Rockdale threatened in the second. Two walks and a single to left loaded the bases. A sharp liner to shortstop Zoey Brown got the first out, but the danger was still looming. On the next play, a short liner to centerfield was caught by Webb for the second out. Her rocket throw to home nabbed a would-be tying runner. It was right on the money for the third out and a double play ending out. It was a big-time play by a big-time player.
The Lady Diamond Dogs then put some distance between themselves and the visiting Bulldogs when they pushed four runs across the plate in the second inning. With one out, Torbush singled down the left field line. Lyons reached on an error and Hannah Callaway reached on a bunt single. With two outs, Webb again double this time to the right center field fence and Williams followed he with an RBI-producing single to right. The score was 5-0 after two innings.
Rockdale got their only two runs of the night on a single and home run to centerfield in the third to tighten things up at 5-2. After that Lyons and the defense shut down any other threats.
Morgan added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Williams started things off with a single to left. Pinch runner Lane stole second and scored on consecutive singles up the middle by Dakota Cepuran and McKenzie Camp who got the RBI. Torbush singled home Cepuran for the 7-2 advantage. The Lady Dogs got one more in the sixth to finish off the scoring. Brown singled with one out and Webb singled behind her. Brown was out at home on a wild pitch, but Webb scored her third run of the game on another single by Williams for the 8-2 win.
Morgan’s graduating seniors include a plethora of talent. Coach Jason McBay made these comments about each of them in his post game celebratory speech.
Alissa Webb— “I have coached a lot of talented players over my career as a baseball and softball coach. As far as athleticism, you rank near the top. When the game is on the line, I want it coming to you or I want you at the plate. Thank you for your leadership, ideas, and the many times you found a little girl or JV player struggling with something and voluntarily helped them out. ‘Big time players make big time plays in big time games’ could not be more true of someone like you.”
Jenna Lyons—“Anytime you get a transfer as a coach, you wonder how they will fit in or are they as good as they say?” I heard two things about you that have never been more true. #1- She is a great teammate and #2- You will love coaching her. You have been a great addition to our program and I have enjoyed being your coach this season. Thank you for displaying physical toughness, at times playing through pain, and for pushing others to be better by playing the game hard.”
Dakota Cepuran—“This year, I have finally seen something in you that I’ve known all along – you have it within you to handle any problem and to affect those around you in such a way that they want to be better. This season, you have carried our team at times and stepped up in big ways. It’s been a joy to watch you grow as a person over the past three seasons.”
Madison Henry – “I really don’t have the words to tell you how much of a blessing you have been to coach. You have grown from an excuse-making, defensive sophomore into a senior that leads in every single area of your life. You are a great student, a loyal friend, and the perfect display of what God can do with a humble heart. I have missed desperately having you in the lineup, but your presence and encouragement of your teammates have been awe-inspiring. I have no doubt you will fully recover and have a great career at North Georgia.”
McKenna Camp – “Your resilience is your most impressive quality. Despite many obstacles, you never complain. You find strength from within and above to keep fighting. You have a great sense of humor and don’t let your circumstances define you. Most of all, you are loyal to the ones you love. That’s a great quality. I have no doubt that you will be very successful in the medical field because you have such a big hear. Thank you for stepping up anytime I called on you.”
McBay ended the festivities with these thoughts, “On of my favorite quotes is from the late, great President Ronald Reagan. It came in 1986 after the Challenger explosion. He said, “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.” Go be brave! Set your sights high and make sure your dreams are lofty. And, if you ever need to find yourself, you are always welcome here with your second family. Go Dogs!”
Congratulations to these five fine young ladies. They will be missed.