Softball team earns good start in Region play

  • Evee Dornhecker is mobbed by her teammates after belting a game-tying solo shot to left field during the Lady Indians' game versus East Hall.
    Evee Dornhecker is mobbed by her teammates after belting a game-tying solo shot to left field during the Lady Indians' game versus East Hall.

The LCHS varsity softball team jumped out to a 2-1 start in Region 7-AAA play last week to improve its overall record for the 2019 season to 6-5.
“This week was a very big week for our team in region play,” said LCHS head coach Joseph Jones. “We were consistent all week and played with a lot of enthusiasm and passion.  Hopefully, this will continue and we can build off of our week into next week and see more successes.”
The Lady Indians opened up their Region 7-AAA schedule when they traveled to Dawson County to square off with their neighboring, region rival Lady Tigers on Monday, August 19.
Lumpkin’s bats exploded for 15 runs and its pitching staff held Dawson to three runs as the Lady Indians cruised to a lopsided 15-3 victory.
The decisive win allowed the Lady Indians to start region play with a 1-0 record and improved the team’s overall record to 5-4, extending Lumpkin’s win streak to four games.
The streak came to an end the next night, August 20, when the Lady Indians hosted East Hall at the LCHS softball field for their second Region 7-AAA game of the week.
East Hall took an early 1-0 lead with a first inning solo home run against LCHS starting pitcher Lauren English, but Lumpkin answered right back when Evee Dornhecker blasted a solo shot of her own to lead things off for the Lady Indians in the bottom of the first. Dornhecker’s rocket shot over the fence in left center evened the score at 1-1.
The Lady Indians added another two runs to the scoreboard in the inning with a RBI double off the bat of English and a RBI fielder’s choice by Haley Voyles to extend their lead to 3-1.
While English and the Lumpkin defense held East Hall scoreless in the top of the second, the Lady Indians kept rolling at the plate and scored two more runs in the bottom of the second to up their lead to 5-1.
English smacked her second RBI double of the game and Natalie Robinson connected for a RBI single up the middle in the inning.
In the third, English allowed her second home run of the game, this time a two-run shot. The bomb over the left field fence cut the Lady Indians’ lead to 5-3, but English was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Lumpkin benefitted from an East Hall error and a RBI infield single off the bat of Anna Kate Wilson in the bottom of the third to extend its lead to 7-3.
The score remained the same until the top fo the fifth when East Hall’s lineup heated up and went on a tear that ultimately put six runs on the scoreboard and allowed the Lady Vikings to take a 9-7 lead.
The Lady Indians were able to cut the East Hall lead to 9-8 in the bottom of the sixth when Natalie Shubert belted a RBI double. However, the Lady Vikings plated another four runs in the top of the seventh and held a 13-8 advantage over Lumpkin.
The Lady Indians couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the seventh and fell to East Hall by a final score of 13-8, dropping their region record to 1-1 and their overall record to 5-5.
“The East Hall game was a very good ball game with a playoff type atmosphere which will hopefully help us in future games,” Jones said.
The Lady Indians bounced back from their loss to East Hall when they traveled to Greater Atlanta Christian for a Region 7-AAA matchup on Thursday, August 22.
Lumpkin scored three runs in the second inning and a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to take a 6-0 lead and only allowed the Lady Spartans to score in the final inning of the game. The final result was a 6-2 region win for the Lady Indians which improved their region record to 2-1 and their overall record to 6-5, concluding a highly successful week on the diamond for Lumpkin.
The bats for the Lady Indians have been red hot since the second week of the season, scoring 62 runs in their last six games, something Jones attributed to his players’ hard work in the offseason.
“The team as a whole has worked very hard in the off season and over the summer,” Jones said. “Most of the players were able to get a lot of experience and at-bats against quality opponents over the summer, which is proving to pay off and will hopefully continue to pay off.
One of the best parts about the Lady Indians’ hot bats, for Jones, is that the team is getting production from each spot in its lineup.
“The great part about all of it, is that overall we have had success in different games from different parts of our lineup,” Jones said. “Top to bottom, much of our production has come from different people, which is great to see as a coach.”
The team has enjoyed a 5-1 record in its last six games, and though much of Lumpkin’s success has rested with its bats, the pitching staff for the Lady Indians has also been playing well during that stretch. The Lady Indians’ pitchers have held their opponents to 22 runs in the last six games, an average of 3.7 runs per game, including two shutouts.
“The key for our staff when we experience success is commanding the strike zone,” Jones said. “If we continue to be consistent and get ahead of batters we put our team in a great position to have success.  Natalie [Robinson], Lauren [English], and Emmie [Graham] all did a great job in the circle this week.”
Jones believes that if his players focus on attitude, passion, persistence and competitive spirit, they can build on the success they have enjoyed over the past two weeks and make a strong push at making the State Playoffs.
“We talk a lot about being consistent and controlling what they can personally control as a player and a team,” Jones said. “Our coaching staff addresses attitude, passion, persistence, and competitive spirit day in and day out.  If we can continue to play with a high level of all of these traits, no matter who our opponent is, we should continue to improve and compete in every game.”