Adairsville’s Emily Collum started a new year of Bartow high school sports in style, slamming a triple and a two-run homer as Adairsville beat Cass, 9-4, Monday in the first official game of a new fall season.
The rain that threatened the county all afternoon held off, leaving a beautiful evening at Cass’ field.
Collum, Adairsville’s catcher, made her intentions known early, tripling in Loren Harris four batters into the game after Harris had doubled home Havyn Isaac.
“She’s a senior, she’s quarterbacking from the catcher position. She’s got a big bat on her in the No. 4 slot,” Adairsville coach Amanda Nelson said about Collum. “She’s important. She’s a great team leader.”
A wild pitch then scored Collum, giving Adairsville a 3-0 lead after one inning.
Harris, an all-county pitcher last year, didn’t give the Lady Colonels much of a chance to get back in the game, giving up just one run through the first five innings.
After scoring once in the third inning, Cass had a chance to cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth, but Adairsville second baseman Havyn Isaac snagged a scorching line drive off the bat of Mae Mae McIntyre and doubled the lead runner off second to end the inning.
“That’s close to being another run right there,” Cass coach Greg Hight said. “It’s a game of chances.”
Cass pitcher Taylor Gibson, a transfer from Excel, settled down after the first inning but lost the zone in the fifth, walking Alexa Varner, Harris and Collum in succession with two outs.
Lady Tigers shortstop Sadye Johnson was the beneficiary of her wildness, driving in two with a single to make it 5-1.
Adairsville added another run in the top of the sixth on a passed ball before Cass got back two runs in the bottom of the inning, keyed by a Sarah Fox RBI triple.
Fox, who also drove in the third-inning run with a single, was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs to lead the Lady Colonels.
“Fox came up and swung the bat real well tonight,” Hight said. “Sarah’s going to be key. We’ve got to get on base in front of her.”
Collum got the runs back in the top of the seventh by driving a pitch from Cass reliever MacKenzie Dougharty over the wall in left for a two-run homer.
Johnson followed with a double and scored later in the inning, making it 9-3.
Cass scored a consolation run in the bottom of the inning, but Collum ended her night by squeezing a pop-up behind the plate for the third out, making sure her team started their season off with a win.
The win also gave new Adairsville coach Nelson a win in her first outing with the team.
“We looked good out there, I thought, for a season opener,” Nelson said. “We were putting the ball in play, we were having some sacrifice bunts, working as a team. I felt good about what we accomplished for our first game.”
Isaac and Johnson joined Collum with two hits for the Lady Tigers, and Harris reached base three times and scored three runs in addition to getting the win.
Adairsville will jump right into region play today, hosting Coahulla Creek at 5:55 p.m.
Cass’ next game will also be against a region opponent, when the Lady Colonels host Kell at 6:45 p.m.