By R. Alan Richardson
The Lady Dogs dismantled Region foe East Jackson last week 8-1 in a home game before taking down the Monroe Lady Hurricanes 4-2 and then losing to another strong Jefferson squad 8-0. According to MaxPreps softball rankings for Class AAA, Jefferson holds down the seventh spot in the state. Morgan moves to 9-6 on the season and 4-4 in Region contests. The Region will again be stout with Franklin and Jackson County, along with the Lady Dragons, highly ranked. Currently, the Morgan County girls are holding down the 12th spot in the state with a lot of softball yet to be played.
Morgan got a Region win last Tuesday over the Lady Eagles of East Jackson in a home game that featured ace Bailey Nix in the circle. The senior pitcher went the distance giving up zero earned runs, striking out five, and only giving up one walk. She scattered seven hits over seven innings of work, two of which came in the first inning. Nix only allowed one extra base hit.
East Jackson drew first blood with a run in the first after two singles, an error, and a fielder’s choice. After that, she allowed only one runner to reach second. Morgan’s offense was led by Avery Kinnett (HR), Briana Lanford (two runs scored), Emma Garrison (two runs scored), Hannah Callaway (two runs scored, and Zoey Brown (one run scored).
In the second inning, the Dogs scored two runs to take the 2-1 lead. Garrison doubled to lead off the inning and Callaway bunted for an infield single. A sacrifice bunt by Parker Spain followed by a walk to MacKenzie Torbush loaded the bases. Peyten Spain got an RBI on an infield grounder and Brown also drew a walk to force home the go-ahead run.
Morgan struck again in the third when sophomore shortstop Kinnett blasted a left centerfield dinger that left no doubt when it was hit. The cushion was 3-1 at that point. A flurry of walks by East Jackson led to another bases loaded situation. This time Torbush came through with a resounding single rifled over third. When the dust cleared it was 4-1 MOCO after three innings of play
The good guys continued their onslaught in the fourth. This was the back breaker for the Lady Eagles with four Morgan runners crossing the plate. Brown, Lanford, Garrison, and Callaway all accounted for scores. Third baseman Brown led the inning off with a single and was sacrificed to second on a nice bunt by catcher Maeson Tanner. She later scored on a sac fly by Kinnett. Morgan batted around in the inning with a two-out rally. Lanford reached on an error by the shortstop and Garrison was also given first on an error to right field. This led to a shot off the fence by Callaway that resulted in a double and scored a run. This was followed up by a single off the bat of Parker Spain. It was 8-1 and another win in the books for the Morgan County Lady Dogs.
Callaway had a superb night from her right field position turning in two defensive gems during the game. Both were similar plays and running catches that had base hits written all over them. Tanner turned in a nice performance behind the plate as well.
Currently, there are three teams at 6-2 in 8-AAA. Morgan sits in fourth place at 4-4. Morgan travels to Jackson County today (Thursday, Sept 12) for a 5:30 contest and will return home this weekend for the Lady Dogs Invitational at Bill Wood Park Friday and Saturday.