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Lady Doggs shutout Chee in softball series opener

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POSTED: August 21, 2014 4:00 p.m.
Adam Wynn/Barrow County News

Lady Wildcat Holly Janco and Lady Diamond Dogg Megan Garrett react to a fly ball during Tuesday's rivalry softball game at Apalachee High School. Winder won 6-0.

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Winder-Barrow scored six unearned runs and sophomore Cathleen Nugue threw a four-hit shutout Tuesday evening as the Lady Bulldoggs’ softball team beat cross-county rival Apalachee 6-0 in a non-region game at the Lady Wildcats’ field.

Nugue walked three and struck out two in defeating Apalachee’s Sara Henson, who threw a four-hitter of her own, striking out five and walking two.

Four Apalachee errors contributed to the Winder-Barrow runs.

Asked why he didn’t use pitching ace Becca Meade, Apalachee coach Matt Allen said, “We’ve got to learn to play with someone pitching besides Becca. It’s a non-region game, so we thought we’d try it this way. You can bet you’ll see her Thursday.”

Winder-Barrow coach Monty McClure was happy with the victory, but he took it for what it was worth.

“I’m proud of Cathleen’s pitching and I’m proud of our defense. We got some timely hits and took advantage of some misplays, but you can bet it will be a different game when we play them again,” he said.

In last Saturday’s final games of the Hawk/Bulldog Invitational tournament, Winder-Barrow defeated defending Class AAAAAA state champion Collins Hill 9-8 at North Gwinnett High School behind home runs by freshman Jikayla Sullivan, her second of the season, and senior Carlee Thurmond.

The Lady Doggs then lost a 10-2 decision to host North Gwinnett and, with Tuesday’s victory, take a 4-3 overall record into Thursday’s Region 8-AAAAA opener with Salem in Conyers.

In the same tournament, Apalachee dropped an 8-4 decision to Jefferson at Mill Creek High School and then dropped an 8-0 decision to the host Lady Hawks.

With Tuesday’s loss, the Lady Cats are now 1-4. They will host region newcomer Lanier High School of Sugar Hill Thursday in their region opener at Apalachee.

In a preliminary game Tuesday, Apalachee’s junior varsity team edged Winder-Barrow 10-9 by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, with Logan Peebles scoring the winning run on a wild pitch.

Winder-Barrow had taken a 5-0 lead after its half of the third inning, but the Lady Cats rallied to score six in the bottom of the frame to go ahead 6-5.

A two-run double by Paige Skinner put the Lady Doggs back ahead 7-6, but an RBI double by Apalachee’s Madison Hulder tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.

Run-scoring singles by Krystal Merrill and Rose Johnson gave Winder-Barrow a 9-7 advantage in the sixth, and when Johnson needed only four pitches to retire Apalachee in the bottom of the inning, it appeared the Lady Doggs would win.

But Peebles singled home two runs to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh, took third on a groundout and scored the game-winner on a wild pitch.

Morgan McCraw had three hits for the Lady Doggs, Karli Whitaker had a three-run triple and an infield single, Emilie Elrod was 3-for-4 and Kierra Brown and Lauren Hawkins each had two hits.

Kayla Brown ripped three hits for Apalachee while Jessica Shultz and Hulder had two hits apiece.

In the varsity game, Winder-Barrow took a 2-0 lead in the second.

Emily Ferguson went all the way to third when Henson fielded her grounder near the circle and threw the ball into right field.

Megan Garrett bunted into no man’s land between the circle and first base to drive in Ferguson.

She took second on an infield single by Krista Thomason, went to third on MacKenzie McFarland’s fielder’s choice grounder and scored on a double steal when McFarland stole second and the throw was to second.

Winder-Barrow increased its lead with four more runs in the fourth.

T.K. Sauls led off and lived on an error. Garrett sacrificed her to second and she went to third on a wild pitch.

Sauls survived a rundown on Thomason’s grounder to third and Thomason alertly went to second during the play.

McFarland singled home one run and went to second on the throw back to the infield before Ansley Johnson’s fly ball to right was dropped for an error and two more runs scored.

Thurmond then slammed a double to deep left center to put the Lady Doggs ahead by six runs.

Apalachee threatened to score in the opening inning when Holly Janco and Mia Giddens singled and both advanced on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with no outs.

But Nugue retired the next three batters to end the threat.

Janco beat out an infield hit in the third and stole second before Hannah Medlam walked, but Nugue struck out Savannah Clark to end the inning.

Two walks and Winder-Barrow’s only error of the game accounted for the only Lady Cat baserunners over the last four innings.

Henson had a worthy stretch as well, retiring the last 11 Lady Dogg batters of the game after Thurmond’s run-scoring double in the fourth.


 

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