However, because of the team’s familiarity with one another, the game carries plenty of personal significance for the girls.
Cass pitcher Courtney Bailey rose to the challenge at Woodland High Monday night as she helped her team to a 3-0 victory thanks to her 11-strikeout effort.
“I guess I was a little more pumped up,” Bailey said of her performance. “A bunch of [Woodland players] play on my travel team so there’s familiarity.”
Bailey received some help from her offense in the first inning as the Lady Colonels scored three runs before Woodland got to bat. Hope Elrod and Bailey each reached base in the first inning before Kelsey Holloway drove Elrod home on an RBI single for the first run of the game.
Woodland pitcher Brooke Rogers settled down after that and struck out the next batters. However, after a Bre Mahrt walk, Lynssey Hollifeld delivered a two-run base hit to centerfield.
Those three runs were more than enough support for Bailey, who struck out four of the first six hitters she faced in the game.
“I’ll tell you what, she was lights out,” Woodland coach Colman Roberts said. “A lot of our kids played with her in travel ball. Man, she was tough tonight. She looked good. She was throwing hard, changing speeds, and had us off balance.”
“I thought she did an excellent job,” Cass coach Greg Hight said. “She was hitting her spots well. She was sharp.”
Rogers battled back after the tough first inning and shut the Lady Colonels out the rest of the way. She had her own impressive performance with nine strikeouts in her seven innings of work.
It was senior night at Woodland and all three of the Lady Wildcats’ seniors recorded hits. Ashley Jordan and Darby Cagle each had one, while Brandee Godfrey had two to lead the team.
Lynssey Hollifield led the way for Cass with a 3-for-3 effort. Kelsey Holloway added two hits, including a double.
For the Lady Colonels, Hight has seen some improvement from his team as the season has progressed.
“We’re playing our best ball at the right time and that’s what we’re looking for,” he said. “Our defense is much better and we have better approaches at the plate than what we’ve been having. If Courtney keeps putting games like this together, we’ll be OK.”
Cass plays its final region game today at Cedartown while Woodland visits Lithia Springs.
Bats coming around for Excel
The Rome softball team may not be having a good season but is still a AAAAA team.
Meanwhile, the Excel team is not only a single-A team, but mostly comprised of freshman.
Still, the Lady Eagles took control early in their game Monday against Rome as they won 8-4 and are now 15-8 on the season.
“I’m very happy with where we are right now,” Excel head coach Chad Parker said. “With so many freshman, I’m really excited about the future.”
The game was never really in doubt Monday as Excel scored three runs in the first inning, one in the second, three in the third, and another in the fifth to take an 8-1 advantage.
Lexie Adams, Lindsey Mauldin and Andrea Taylor each had two RBIs. Brighton McCollum and Aliza Baker accounted for the other two.
Baker also got it done in the circle with six strikeouts in four innings, while only allowing two hits and one run.
“Aliza Baker has been playing very well lately,” Parker said. “We’re starting to swing the bats well and do the things offensively that we need to do, like hitting behind runners and situational hitting.”
Excel is coming off the Baconton, Ga.-Pecan Growers Classic, in which the team went 3-2. Baker had a no hitter and a home run at the event. McCollum added a homer of her own as well.
Excel is not playing a region schedule this season, so will not be eligible for the playoffs. However, with such a young team, Parker is hoping to build some momentum in the last few games to carry over into 2014.
“Absolutely, we would like to finish strong,” he said. “The girls got some good experience this year and the future is bright.”