Here’s a rundown of how the local schools fared this weekend:
The host Lady Trojans earned victories over Chapel Hill (4-3) and Villa Rica (12-4) on Friday, then suffered their lone setback to Paulding County (7-4) on Saturday morning before bouncing back to fend off Mt. Zion (7-3) in the afternoon.
Carrollton coach Lisa Phillips said her team got a lot of positive things from the two days of competition.
“I believe for us, personally, we did a lot of good things. We got three wins and then we learned a lot in the loss, which I think we needed. Hopefully, it will be beneficial to us as we move on,” Phillips said.
In serving as the tournament host, Phillips thought it was once again a success, as strong competition and nice weather proved to be a winning combination.
“Absolutely. We’ve had great competition. The coaches have enjoyed it. I think the players have gotten a lot out of it. Great weather. You know, it hasn’t been too hot. So, overall, I think everybody’s satisfied with what they got out of the weekend,” Phillips said.
Carrollton returns to Region 5-AAAA action on Tuesday when it plays host to Fayette County. It then has a 5:45 p.m. make-up date with Bowdon on Wednesday at the University of West Georgia before wrapping up the week at Sandy Creek on Thursday.
“If we win out, we can kind of control where we finish in the region, which would be the No. 1 seed. So that’s something we hope we can accomplish in the next week and a half,” Phillips said.
Although things didn’t begin so peachy for Lady Blue Devil coach Amy Pointer in the opening-game loss to Paulding County (7-4) on Friday, her team responded with a better showing in a three-run setback to South Paulding (6-3) in the nightcap and then gave the birthday gal a 3-0 sweep on Saturday to end the Trojan Slam on a high note.
Bremen defeated Newnan (11-5), Chapel Hill (9-1) and Villa Rica (11-0) on the second day of action to build some steam heading back into the Region 5-AA schedule at Jordan on Tuesday.
“It was an awesome day — and it’s my birthday. But they played like I know they can play and they hit like I know they can hit,” Pointer said. “Something that they did [Friday] night was they gave up runs on errors, and I had a moment with them. Then they played much better. They came back and they fought and they did not lay down. That’s something that they cannot afford to do.”
Bremen senior first baseman Kayleigh Medlin had a huge weekend at the plate, connecting on three home runs, including a grand slam in the finale against Villa Rica on Saturday evening. Sophomore Summer Wallace also popped one out of the park against the Lady Cats, a two-run blast in the eight-run second inning.
Lady Blue Devil pitchers Chelsey Stillwell and Ally Hindman combined on a no-hitter in the finale, as well.
Pointer thought the biggest thing her team got from the weekend was motivation and a learning experience.
“We got to see some good pitching and we hit it well, so I’m proud of them for that. But they’re going to have to carry it over. They can’t let some of these other games where we win big effect how everything is supposed to go,” Pointer said. “One big thing is we have to hit behind our pitchers. We don’t have anybody throwing 60-plus. You know, Chelsey [Stillwell] does all she can, [Jacquelyn Hightower] did well and Ally [Hindman] came in and did a good job. But we’re going to have to hit behind them.”
The Red Devilettes won a pair of games on the opening day of the Trojan Slam — defeating Alexander (5-4) and Rockmart (11-4) — while dropping a tilt with Chapel Hill (6-3). On Saturday, Bowdon fell to South Paulding (9-3) and Paulding County (3-1) to cap off a busy week of action for coach Ralph Sanders’ ball club.
“We’ve played eight games this week and we’ve got three games the first three days of next. So I’m sure they’re getting a little bit tired of softball, as far as playing every day. But most of them love the game enough that they want to come out there and compete,” Sanders said. “It’s been a long stretch. I told somebody the other day that I was glad we were going on the road for a while because I was tired of lining the field. I’d done it about four days in a row now. But that’s the way things happen.”
The veteran Bowdon coach was pleased with his team’s showing on Friday, but said it just didn’t execute offensively on the second day of competition.
“We played well [Friday] and we just didn’t play as well [Saturday]. We didn’t hit the ball as well as we did. Defensively, I didn’t think we looked too bad. We just didn’t hit well,” Sanders said. “We’re a better hitting team than what we showed [Saturday].”
Bowdon continues its stretch with a game at Mt. Zion on Monday, at Chattahoochee County on Tuesday and then faces Carrollton on Wednesday at the University of West Georgia.
Mt. Zion (1-1)
The Lady Eagles have been playing some strong ball of late, and that theme continued Saturday — MZ only competed on the second day of the Trojan Slam — as they knocked off Villa Rica (7-5) before coming up just short in the late innings against the host Lady Trojans (7-3).
Still, Lady Eagle coach Millie Grimes, whose team gave top-ranked Gordon Lee a run for its money last week in a one-run loss, noted that it was a productive day for her young ball club.
“You know, we battled. [Carrollton is] just strong all the way through — offensively, defensively — just everywhere. Every batter does a great job. But I was proud of the girls for the way they stuck in there and made a game of it. It was good experience for us,” Grimes said. “Lisa [Phillips] does a great job over here with this tournament and we’re just happy to be a part of it.”
Grimes said if her team can consistently give that same effort when it gets back into Region 6-A play, good things will happen for her squad down the stretch run of the season.
“Even though we lost that game — if we play that good against some of our region opponents that we lost to — then we’ll be OK. Some of our bats have started to come around and some of the ones that have been slumping a bit got some good hits [Saturday],” Grimes said. “If we can do that, I think we’ll be fine. We’ve just got to do it.”
Villa Rica (0-5)
Despite getting shut out of the win column, first-year Lady Wildcat coach James Arp was able to take some positives from competing at East Carrollton over the weekend.
“We started off really well. Our first two games we played, we played hard and had Chattahoochee [County] down 5-1. We just let off the gas and let them back in it. We kind of fizzled out at the end of the tournament. I guess we were exhausted. I’m not exactly sure what it was — mentally or physically. But we were not the same team [Saturday] as we were [Friday],” Arp said.
VR dropped contests to Chattahoochee County (8-5) and Carrollton (12-4) on Friday, then suffered setbacks to Mt. Zion (7-5), McIntosh (11-2) and Bremen (11-0) on Saturday.
And with only two Region 5-AAAAA games remaining, Arp said the focus is to finish on a strong note and build momentum toward next season.
“That’s the big thing. What my thoughts have been all year long is these girls just need a little confidence. They can play with anyone — they’ve shown times all year long where they can do that. But they’ve shown times where they think they’re going to lose, so therefore that’s what they do when they go out there. That’s not how it should be,” Arp said.