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Lady Doggs rely on late heroics to beat Vikings

POSTED: August 16, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Adam Wynn/Barrow County News

Lady Doggs Carlee Thurmond (Left) and Cathleen Nugue (Right) meet at the mound during a game.

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Winder-Barrow’s softball team squared off against the First Presbyterian Day School (Macon, Ga.) Friday night in a tournament hosted by Flowery Branch. The Lady Bulldoggs fought off a late surge by the Lady Vikings to earn the win 4-2.

It was all defense for the first three innings. The Lady Doggs sent the minimum number of batters to the plate whereas the Lady Vikings had ten batters make plate appearances. Winder-Barrow pitcher Cathleen Nugue walked the first batter in the second inning and retired the rest.

In the fourth inning Winder-Barrow led off with two consecutive bunts for base hits respectively by Mackenzie McFarland and Emily Ferguson, and something savory was stewing.

Carlee Thurmond exercised her good eye and reached first on balls loading the bases. Two batters later, Jakayla Sullivan blooped a Viking pitch to left center which drove in McFarland and Ferguson to make the score 2-0.

The Lady Doggs handed the ball to Alexis Berry in the fifth, who started out a little shaky with a walk, but then the Ansley Johnson Defensive Clinic began and the next three batters were returned to the dugout.

Johnson had a hand in eight of the last ten outs of the game which started and ended with hard line drives right to her glove.

“Our pitching‘s been good, catching’s been good – our fielding has not been good, and I was glad to see we did well tonight,” said Winder-Barrow head coach Monty McClure. “I think when we hang out more, practice more and play more games together, a lot of the teambuilding and unity will come. That’s my number one priority right now.”

The Lady Vikings mounted a siege to pillage some runs in the sixth inning, and they made off with two, a tie score and a brand new ball game.

The Lady Doggs bounced right back in a two-out rally scoring Nugue and Sullivan in the bottom of the sixth to regain the lead 4-2.

Another Berry walk and the Lady Vikings were beginning to feel the magic stirring. That is, until a soft line drive found its way into Johnson’s mitt allowing her to double up the runner at first. Another line drive to Johnson and it was in the books.

The Lady Doggs are experiencing a rough start to the season, but Coach McClure is optimistic.

“I was glad our girls came back after Wednesday’s performance with more energy. They seemed ready to play, and I think we looked pretty sharp in the field. We’ve still got to make some adjustments at the plate, but that will come with experience and play. We’ve got a young team. We start seven freshmen or sophomores sometimes. All that comes with experience, and we look forward to getting better every day,” said McClure.

Winder-Barrow won their season opener Monday with an 8-4 home victory against Jefferson, but they dropped the next two at Flowery Branch on Wednesday.

The Lady Diamond Doggs faced Mountain View and Dacula in a two-loss double-header, with the Dacula game going 10-2 in the Falcons’ favor and the Mountain View loss scoring 3-1. 

Winder-Barrow hoped to ride the hot streak a little further with two Saturday games at North Gwinnett. The first was a contest against Region 7-AAAAAA Collins Hill, followed by a match-up with host North Gwinnett. 

The results of those games were not available at press time.

The Lady Doggs continue their season Tuesday with a rivalry match-up against Apalachee in a non-region exhibition game. They will then start their region season with a road contest at Salem on Aug. 21 before playing their second of three games against Dacula on Aug. 25. 

They will finally come home on Aug. 26 for a region contest against the Cedar Shoals Lady Jaguars.

CORRECTION: Ansley Johnson started the game at shortstop and Cathleen Nugue was the starting pitcher. When Alexis Berry came in to pitch in the fifth inning, Nugue moved to shortstop and was the player who was involved in seven of the last ten outs. Berry had a single in the sixth inning that drove in the two runs, including the winning run, scored by Nugue and Sullivan.



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