Lumpkin softball denied by White County in opener

  • AK Wilson connects for a RBI double in Lumpkin’s season opener. Wilson went 3-for-4 at the plate with a RBI in the 14-8 loss.
    AK Wilson connects for a RBI double in Lumpkin’s season opener. Wilson went 3-for-4 at the plate with a RBI in the 14-8 loss.

The beginning of the 2019 high school softball season didn’t quite start the way the Lady Indians had hoped when they traveled to White County to take on the Lady Warriors in the team’s 2019 season opener on Friday, August 2.
After a back-and-forth affair in the early innings, the Lady Warriors plated six runs in the bottom of the sixth to hand Lumpkin its first loss of the season by a final score of 14-8.
Despite the late-inning loss and perhaps a few season opener jitters, the Lady Indians showed great potential during the course of the ballgame, indicating that the skill level of the team should allow them to have a strong 2019 season.
The Lady Indians received a huge blast off the bat of starting pitcher Natalie Robinson in the top of the first inning versus the Lady Warriors to take an early advantage.
After Evee Dornhecker was hit by a pitch and Lauren English drew a walk to start the inning, Robinson rocketed a pitch over the wall in centerfield for a three-run home run. The monster shot gave Lumpkin an early 3-0 lead.
Robinson struggled with her control when she took the mound in the bottom half of the inning, walking the first two batters she faced. The Lady Warriors made the best of the situation with a RBI fielder’s choice and a RBI single to center to cut the Lumpkin lead to 3-2.
The Lady Indians added another run in the top of the second when Dornhecker connected for a RBI fielder’s choice to the pitcher, extending their lead to 4-2.
However, a couple of errors by Lumpkin and a two-run double off the bat of White County’s Sydney Parks allowed the Lady Warriors to take a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the second.
Undaunted, the Lady Indians’ lineup went back to work in the top of the third and plated three more runs to retake the lead at 7-6.
Robinson started the inning with a leadoff walk. A wild pitch by White County starting pitcher Annika Vandiver allowed Robinson to advance to second. After a fly out to left center off the bat of Haley Voyles, Alyssa Pulley took one for the team when she was hit by a pitch. With runners at first and second, Hannah Pulley moved the runners with a sacrifice ground out to second base. With two runners in scoring position, freshman Natalie Shubert rocketed a pitch into left field for a two-run double. Shubert’s timely hit evened the score between the two teams at 6-6. Anna Kate Wilson followed with a RBI double to give the lead back to Lumpkin at 7-6 before Haley Sparks popped out to center for the final out of the inning.
The Lady Warriors answered right back with two runs in the bottom half of the frame when they connected for a RBI fielder’s choice and benefitted from a passed ball with a runner at third. The two runs allowed White County to retake the lead at 8-7.
After the offensive explosion from each team in the first three innings, both Robinson and Vandiver settled down and didn’t allow another run to score until the top of the sixth inning.
Down by a run, the Lady Indians were able to retie the game in the top of the sixth when Hannah Pulley belted a hard hit ball that found its way through the right side of the infield to score the Lady Indians’ run, tying the game at 8-8.
In the bottom of the sixth, English took the mound in relief of Robinson. Robinson pitched five innings, giving up eight runs off seven hits in her first performance of the 2019 season.
The inning would prove to be the downfall of the Lady Indians, as White County struck for six runs to take a 14-8 lead.
English struggled to find the strike zone early in the inning and the Lady Warriors quickly loaded the bases. English then hit a batter to score the first run of the inning for the Lady Warriors. The next batter, Rachel Brock, followed with a two-run double up the middle that gave White County an 11-8 advantage. Liana O’Kelly kept things going for White County with a two-run triple to right field that bounced all the way to the wall. The triple extended White County’s lead to 13-8. The Lady Warriors plated one more run in the inning when Cree Cantrell belted a RBI single to left.
The six-run inning put Lumpkin in a deep hole with only three outs remaining.
But, the Lady Indians could only muster a single off the bat of Dornhecker in the top of the seventh, allowing White County to take the game by a final score of 14-8.
The loss gave the Lady Indians a 0-1 overall record to start the 2019 season.
At press time, the LCHS varsity softball team was set to play its 2019 home opener when the Lady Indians hosted Pickens County at the LCHS softball field on Tuesday, August 6. No official results were available.
The Lady Indians will be back in action on the diamond when they square off with the Pickens County Dragonettes on the road tomorrow, August 8. First pitch for the game is scheduled for 5:55 p.m.
The Lady Indians will then take part in the Rumble at the Ridge Tournament hosted at Peachtree Ridge High School on Friday, August 9.