The Class AAAA No. 7 Lady Trojans (20-5) got a pair of key hits from Jessie Pruett and Brooklyn Emory in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie and were able to hold on for the win.
"[Pruett's] one of those kids we depend on and we would like for the ball to be hit to her and we like to see her at the plate with the game on the line," Carrollton coach Lisa Phillips said. "[Those hits] are the difference between winning and losing. You have to have those kids in those spots to put the ball in play. They got two big hits in two big spots right there. Got a bunt down that made a difference and two big hits."
The pair of hits followed Amelia Cooper reaching to lead the inning off on catcher's interference, an out and a Shelby Yates sacrifice bunt. Cooper scored on an RBI double by Pruett and the senior shortstop came around on Emory's strong single up the middle.
That was the only blemish for Bowdon hurler Trinity Strickland, who gave up just the two runs — only one earned — on six hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks in the loss.
"Trinity, I consider one of the best pitchers in the area, and definitely even in the state she's one of the best pitchers around. I felt like we competed fairly well, did just enough to get a win," Phillips said.
On the other side, Carrollton hurler Katie Jones had enough to get through all seven innings while limiting base-runners and never allowing the big inning against the Red Devilettes (13-9). The sophomore gave up only one run on three hits with five strikeouts and two walks. The sophomore was able to keep the Bowdon hitters off-balance all night.
"Two good softball teams on the field and we played well," Bowdon coach Ralph Sanders said. "Their pitcher, she's not fast, but she's very deceptive. She'll keep you off-balance and off-stride ... She did a real good job. I told them, I've got nothing to fuss about or be mad at. We played as well as we could play. Hitting-wise, we never put two doubles back-to-back and they did."
The Lady Trojans had a runner reach base in every inning but the sixth and had a runner reach second in the first, second in the sixth, but stranded the runners there.
In the top of the seventh, the Red Devilettes got one run back and had a runner in scoring position before Jones got the final out. Madison Dye worked a one-out walk before being replaced by pinch-runner Natalie Brown. Lyric Maze's double put runners on second and third for ReShay Brewer, who brought Brown home from third on a sacrifice fly, but that was all Bowdon could muster.
The Red Devilettes will play a make-up game against Chattahoochee County on the road Friday night before the two school's football teams meet. Then on Tuesday will be a key game, as Bowdon hosts Bremen with home-field advantage for the Region 5-AA Tournament on the line.
"If we can beat Bremen, which I don't know if we can or not, that will kind of shoo us in for hosting the region tournament. If we don't, then it's going to go back to runs allowed and I don't even want to get into that. If we take care of business, we'll be fine. If we don't, we'll have to figure who will host the tournament," Sanders said.
Carrollton has three region games left in the season, as it travels to Sandy Creek today for a 5:30 p.m. contest before a make-up game against Fayette County on Monday night and the regular-season finale at Alexander on Tuesday.
"We've got three games left in our region, and if we win those games, that will secure a spot in the state tournament. Those three games are huge. We're looking forward to what the next week holds and moving on into the real season," Phillips said.
In other prep softball action from Wednesday night:
Rockmart 7, Central 6 (8): The Lady Lions (18-7, 7-1 Region 4-AAA) were on the wrong side of a one-run, extra inning contest Wednesday night at Rockmart.
Central got a solo home run from Hayley Sims in the second inning and a base clearing triple from Cassie Griffin in the fourth, but left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth only able to get one total run across.
The final two games, starting with Callaway tonight at 5:30 for senior night, have added importance as Central still has a shot at a No. 1 seed in the region tournament.
Central Middle School 16, Heard County 1: Behind a solid effort at the plate from Logan North, the Lady Lions continued their strong start to the season with a win over the Lady Braves.
North led Central (4-0) with two hits and a pair of RBI, while Emily Williams and Madison Grall had a hit and two RBI each. Also picking up hits for the Lady Lions were Abby Cook, Makenzi Geter, Abbie Smith and Kaylee Karakos.
Central will travel to Bowdon today with a 4:30 p.m. first pitch.