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Lady Wildcats beat defending champs

POSTED: August 30, 2014 11:00 a.m.
Adam Wynn/Barrow County News

Lady Wildcat Kaelani Wilson, seen here, is currently out of the lineup due to a potentially severe injury.

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Becca Meade pitched a four-hit shutout and Apalachee’s softball team scored its runs early to defeat Region 8-AAAAA opponent, and defending region champion, Heritage 4-0 Thursday evening at the Lady Wildcats’ field.

The shutout victory was the second region blank job of the day for Barrow County teams since Winder-Barrow shut out Gainesville 9-0 in Gainesville.

Although the Lady Bulldoggs have begun their region schedule against three of the weaker teams in the region, they improved to 8-3 overall and 3-0 in region play.

Apalachee, which has already played two of the stronger teams in the region, improved to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the region with Thursday’s victory.

In a junior varsity game prior to Thursday’s win, Apalachee outslugged Heritage 13-7 for its second victory of the week.

The Lady Cats shut out Mountain View 7-0 on Monday at Mountain View in Lawrenceville, but then lost to Loganville 7-0 at the Lady Red Devils’ home field on Tuesday.

The Apalachee varsity team will spend its Labor Day weekend in Brunswick, where it will play five games in an invitational tournament there. The Lady Cats were slated to play two games on Friday and three more on Saturday.

Although Apalachee head coach Matt Allen was happy with Meade’s performance in Thursday’s shutout victory, he was even more pleased with his hitters.

“I was happy about the way we got some clutch hits against a really good pitcher,” Allen said after the game.

Apalachee got seven hits against Lady Patriots junior Kamryn Toney, with two of their four runs being earned.

Although she hit one batter, Toney walked no one and struck out 10 in her six innings of work. She blanked the Lady Cats and allowed only three baserunners over her last four innings.

Meade walked two and struck out nine while throwing 109 pitches in her seven-inning complete game.

Asked about two injured starters, Kaelani Wilson and Savannah Clark, Allen was more hurt for the players than the team.

“It gives us a chance to plug some other players into different positions and get them some experience,” he said. “Now we have 12 or 13 different starters instead of 10.”

Clark’s “injury” was the result of having wisdom teeth removed and the resulting followup. She had to miss practice, so she was not allowed to play in Thursday’s game.

“It’s kind of like football,” Allen said. “If you miss a practice, you don’t get to play in the game.”

Clark was listed as a reserve for Thursday’s game.

Wilson’s injury was a bit more serious. She has been diagnosed with a concussion and was not allowed to be in the sunlight for Thursday’s game and will not be allowed to make the trip to Brunswick this weekend.

Apalachee got on the scoreboard early in the bottom of the first inning in Thursday’s triumph.

Sophomore leadoff batter Holly Janco was credited with a double when her short fly ball landed just out of the infield but far enough away for no one to make a play on the ball.

Mia Giddens’ sacrifice bunt was thrown into right field by Heritage third baseman Ta’lor Bynum, allowing Janco to score and Giddens to reach second.

Hannah Medlam followed with a bunt hit toward the shortstop position, but Lady Patriots shortstop Addy Allegretti was headed to cover third, allowing Giddens to score Apalachee’s second run.

Medlam remained at first for a couple of strikeouts before Allison Cole banged a triple to right-center to score her with the Lady Wildcats’ third run.

Apalachee picked up its fourth run in the bottom of the second when Briana Bryson singled with one out, was sacrificed to second by Janco and scored on Giddens’ single.

The Lady Wildcats almost scored again in the fourth when Jennifer Dye was hit by a pitch with one out.

Pinch-runner Jerrilynn McDonald was sacrificed to second by Bryson and Janco followed with a single to short centerfield.

But Heritage centerfielder Jamiya Barker made a perfect throw to catcher Morgan Whiten to nail McDonald at the plate for the third out of the inning.

Barker had led off the game with a single and stolen second, but she was left there when Meade retired the next three batters.

The Lady Patriots put two runners into scoring position with two outs in the second.

Paige Owens singled and continued to second when the ball was bobbled in the outfield.

Owens got to third on a wild pitch while Germecia Joseph worked a walk, then pinch-runner Jahara Buggs stole second.

But Meade got No. 9 hitter Lakaitlen Barney looking at a called third strike to end the inning.

Barker doubled leading off the third and eventually made it to third on a groundout, but she was stranded there.

Meade retired the next 11 batters before Toney singled to left in the sixth, but her courtesy runner, Jordan Browning, was left stranded.

Bynum led off the seventh with a walk and took second on a passed ball.

One out later, pinch-hitter Rebecca Rackley sacrificed her to third, but Meade slipped another called third strike by Barney to end the game.

Apalachee started their weekend tournament with two wins Friday, defeating Calvary Day 5-2 in Brunswick before beating local Glynn Academy 11-3.

 

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