High School Softball Roundup

Tigers, Wildcats pick up key wins


The Adairsville softball team used the arm of Taylor Rhoades and a five-run fifth inning to pick up its first win of the season Monday in a 5-0 home victory over Coosa.

Rhoades, a junior, scattered six hits and one walk over seven shutout innings. She struck out six and needed just 88 pitches to finish off the Eagles.

While Rhoades managed to keep the visitors off the board throughout, her counterparts danced out of trouble several times. However, the Tigers (1-2) erupted for five runs in the fifth to take control of the game.

Nine-hole hitter Katie Smith opened the decisive inning with a double. She stole third before Alexa Varner was hit by a pitch. Varner then stole second to put two runners in scoring position.

Chloe Souders followed with an RBI single; Sadye Johnson kept the line moving with a run-scoring hit; and Victoria O'Neal socked a key two-run double. Rhoades laid down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Bella Matthews to third, and Alyssa Jarrett singled Matthews home for a 5-0 lead.

Smith paced the Tigers, finishing 3-for-3. Souders, Johnson and Rhoades each wound up with two hits, while Johnson also reached via base on balls. O'Neal had the clutch double and also drew a walk.

Adairsville returns to action Wednesday, when the Tigers travel to Cartersville for a rescheduled game against their Bartow County neighbor.

Woodland 6, East Paulding 3

Last year, Woodland and East Paulding met in a thrilling Region 7-AAAAA opener. The visiting Raiders rallied from a three-run deficit in the top of the seventh for a 10-8 victory.

This time around, the Wildcats got to play the spoilers. Woodland scored runs in each of the last three innings to rally for a 6-3 win in its season opener Monday at East Paulding.

With the score tied 3-all entering the seventh, the Wildcats loaded the bases with nobody out, as Morgan Bailey and Hannah Miller singled around an Ansley Evans walk. Kendyl Hardin coaxed a walk to break the deadlock before Morgan Cooper was hit by a pitch to force in another run.

Alyssa Motes had an RBI groundout later in the frame to hand Woodland a 6-3 lead entering the bottom of the inning.

Lainey Baker worked around a one-out single to finish off the Raiders. She struck out six with no walks, while allowing seven hits in a complete-game effort.

East Paulding (2-3, 0-1) took the lead on Maggie O'Kelley's solo homer in the second inning. A clutch two-out, two-run single in the third put Woodland in a 3-0 hole.

The Wildcats, who only had three hits on the night, started to make a comeback in the top of the fifth. Kailey Baker walked, Bella Carnes reached on an error, and then the two pulled off a double steal. That was a key play, as both players ended up scoring on Evans' sacrifice fly to pull Woodland within 3-2.

The Wildcats tied the game in the sixth, when Motes doubled home Cooper. Woodland left the go-ahead run at third base that inning, but the team didn't have to wait long to make up for it.

After opening the season with a thrilling come-from-behind win, the Wildcats will host Carrollton in a rematch of last year's region championship series, which Woodland won in three games. Junior Madi Bentley, who went 3-0 against the Trojans last year, will be expected to start for the Wildcats.