Laree Van Orden (left to right), Miranda Sneed and Laney Crawford line up across the diamond to face a Mary Persons High School batter. Photo by Nick Nunn

Laree Van Orden (left to right), Miranda Sneed and Laney Crawford line up across the diamond to face a Mary Persons High School batter. Photo by Nick Nunn

By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

The Morgan County High School (MCHS) varsity softball team compiled a 1-2 record in just under 24 hours to begin their 2013 season. After a 1-10 loss to Walnut Grove last Friday night, the Lady Dogs lost to Mary Persons High School 3-7 for the first game of the Morgan Diamond Day on Saturday. The Dogs turned it around for the second game of the Morgan Diamond Day, beating Alcovy 4-0.

Walnut Grove quickly took the upper hand over the varsity Dogs last Friday, when they scored their first run in the bottom of the first inning.

Morgan County put their first run on the board during the third inning thanks to an RBI by Alishia Frierson, but not before Walnut Grove was able to score again, keeping the Dogs behind 1-2.

Walnut Grove was able to add eight more runs in the final innings, culminating with a walk-off two-run homer, which ended the game 10-1 in favor of Walnut Grove.

Freshman Elizabeth Couch managed to maintain a perfect batting average through her first game as a high school student, hitting two singles and a double during three plate appearances.

The Lady Dogs played the first game of the Morgan Diamond Day on Saturday morning against Mary Persons.

Morgan County drew first blood, scoring one run on two hits in the first inning, but Mary Persons tied the game 1-1 during the top of the second.

The score remained deadlocked through the fourth inning, but Mary Persons broke through in the fifth, scoring four runs to push them ahead 5-1.

The Dogs came through with another run in the sixth inning, when Frierson came home on an error, but Mary Persons again pushed forward with another two runs.

With the score 2-7 in the bottom of the seventh, Morgan County had a deep deficit that they weren’t able to overcome.

They did get one run across in the seventh after a bit of good base running by E. Couch, who also went three-for-four against Mary Persons.

The final score against Mary Persons was 3-7.

The 4-0 victory over Alcovy was a welcome change to the Lady Dogs, who were finally able to increase their offensive output enough to build a solid lead.

When the first three runs of the game came in the first inning, the Dogs showed that they had shaken off some of their offensive rust and were ready to put one in the win column.

During the bottom of the sixth, with the score still 3-0, Laree Van Orden bumped the score to 4-0 all on her own by hitting a home run to center field.

The home run ball just made it out as Alcovy’s center fielder fell on the fence, pulling it down and out of the ball’s way, much to the amusement of the Morgan County fans.

Frierson pitched the shut-out game against Alcovy, allowing only four hits during seven innings.

The JV Lady Dogs also had their first game of the season against Walnut Grove on Friday, which they lost 1-7.

Morgan County’s only run came in the top of the sixth inning when Hayden Massey came home on a wild pitch after reaching on a base on balls and stealing second.

Both teams have busy schedules in the upcoming week. The varsity Lady Dogs played Jackson County on the road Tuesday and will play Elbert County at home today, both at 5:55 p.m. On Saturday, Morgan County will play three games at the Cherokee Leadoff Classic: Dodge County at 12:30 p.m., Paulding County at 2:45 p.m., and Etowah at 7:15 p.m., and they will play Oconee County on the road next Tuesday.

The JV Dogs played Alcovy in Covington Monday and Heritage in Conyers on Wednesday, but will also play Elbert County at home today at 4:30 p.m.. Next Tuesday, they will play Oconee County in Watkinsville at 4:30 p.m. before facing Alcovy again at home Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

The Morgan County Middle School softball team begins their season on Friday with at game against Carver at home at 4:30 p.m.. They will also play Youth next Tuesday on the road at 4:30 p.m.

MCHS Softball Varsity Game

Tonight, 5:55, vs. Elbert County