Morgan loses in tourney play
By Nick Nunn
This last Saturday was a disappointing day for Morgan County at the Lady Dog Invitational. The Lady Dogs lost all three of their games during this week’s portion of the tournament, including a heartbreaking loss against Heritage during the international tiebreaker.
The Lady Dogs lost the first game of the day against the Alcovy Tigers, 1-5.
Despite keeping Alcovy to only four hits in the first three innings, all of which were singles, the Lady Dogs gave up two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth inning, leaving Morgan County with a long way to go if they were to make a comeback.
Alishia Frierson came out to the plate fired up to start off the sixth inning and hit a solo home run on the second pitch of her at-bat. Unfortunately, the Lady Dogs couldn’t muster any more runs in the inning, and the game came to an end after the sixth inning with a final score of 1-5.
“I was proud of the way we played. We literally battled with them,” said Head Coach Doug Connelly about the game against Alcovy.
Morgan County continued to struggle against Duluth, their second opponent of the day, who won the game with a score of 0-8.
Duluth scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning, and one more in the bottom of the sixth.
In the third inning, Victoria Thomas took over pitching duties for Morgan County and chalked up three strikeouts in the inning to retire Duluth.
However, in the bottom of the fourth, Duluth was able to score two more runs, bringing the score to 0-8, and setting up the possibility for the game to end after the top of the fifth, according to the run rule, unless Morgan County was able to score in the fifth.
Unfortunately, after two runners got to second and third base with two outs in the top of the fifth, the Lady Dogs were not able to manufacture a run, and the game came to a close 0-8 in the fifth inning.
The last game of the day was a disappointing loss against the Heritage Patriots, which ended 4-5 in the eighth inning.
The Lady Dogs took to the field ready to go after the two earlier losses earlier that day. Meagan McSherry, the first batter of the game, hit a single into left field, and Dee Pittman came out to bunt her over to second base.
The bunt was more successful than could have been expected.
As a result of an error by the Patriots’ player at first base, both McSherry and Pittman scored, putting the Lady Dogs two runs over Heritage in the first inning.
McSherry had a big play in the third inning, when she caught a long fly ball for the third out.
Morgan County scored again in the sixth inning when Aubree Cox singled to first, stole second during the next at-bat, and ran home after a passed ball left home undefended.
“We were cruising along,” said Coach Connelly.
The Lady Dogs were in a good position to hold onto their advantage when the bottom of the sixth started. The first batter for the Patriots got to base on a single, but Morgan County got the first two outs of the inning by catching two fly balls, including a great catch by Pittman, who had to slide out of bounds to catch the pop-up.
However, even with two runs out, the Patriots were able to score three runs in the sixth inning, tying the score 3-3.
Despite a single by Laney Crawford, the Lady Dogs were not able to score in the seventh, and neither were the Patriots.
The eighth inning was played as an International Tie Breaker, so each team was able to put a runner at second base at the beginning of the inning. Since she was the last person to bat in the seventh inning, Maddison Busbee was the runner on second for Morgan County.
Busbee was able to make it to third base before a passed ball during Cox’ at bat allowed her to reach home plate. The Lady Dogs were one run ahead of Heritage at the end of the eighth inning.
After leading on the scoreboard for the whole game against Heritage, Morgan County lost when the Patriots scored two runs in the eighth inning. The final score was 4-5.
Despite the losses during the day, Coach Connelly felt good about how the team performed.
“We had very good competition.”
The Lady Dogs were in the Gold Medal division of the tournament, so they faced up against some of the best teams at the Invitational.
“When you have the chance to go up against some really good teams, it gives you a chance to see where the leaks are,” said Connelly.
Coach Connelly is looking forward to the Varsity team’s games against Elbert County, Jackson County, and Franklin County, all of which take place this week.
“We have three huge region games coming up,” said Connelly about this week’s schedule.
The Lady Dogs are currently 2-2 in region games, so they have a good chance of bringing their region record up in the three games to taking place this week.