Softball team wins home opener, then hits tough stretch

  • Lauren English blasts a pitch to right field for a two-run double to help Lumpkin defeat Pickens County last week.
    Lauren English blasts a pitch to right field for a two-run double to help Lumpkin defeat Pickens County last week.
Body

After bouncing back from its season opening loss to White County with a win in its home opener, the LCHS varsity softball team suffered three consecutive losses to Pickens County, Parkview and Peachtree Ridge to start the 2019 season with a 1-4 overall record.
The Lady Indians began the week with their 2019 home opener versus the Pickens County Dragonettes on Tuesday, August 6.
LCHS starting pitcher Natalie Robinson got off to a strong start for the Lady Indians on the mound, holding Pickens County scoreless through the first two innings of the game. However, the Nettes were able to put the first run of the game on the scoreboard in the top of the third with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field. Pickens County added two more runs in the top of the fourth with a bases loaded walk and a run scored on a passed ball.
The two-run fourth for Pickens County ended the day for Robinson, who allowed three runs, two hits, four walks and struck out four.
Reliever Emmie Graham picked up a strikeout to end the Nettes’ threat. The sophomore, who would finish the game on the mound for Lumpkin, didn’t allow another Pickens County run in the game.
The score remained 3-0 in favor of the Nettes until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Lady Indians’ lineup exploded for four runs to take a 4-3 lead.
Graham and Hannah Pulley started the inning off with back-to-back singles to give Lumpkin runners on first and second. Anna Kate Wilson followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved the runners into scoring position at second and third. A passed ball by the Pickens County catcher allowed the Lady Indians to score their first run of the game and cut the Nettes’ advantage to 3-1. Haley Sparks showed patience at the plate to draw a walk and quickly stole second base to give Lumpkin runners at second and third. After Evee Dornhecker struck out for the second out of the inning, the Lady Indians received huge clutch hits from Lauren English and Robinson that gave the Lady Indians their first lead of the game at 4-3.
English smacked a two-run double to right field and Robinson followed with a RBI double rocketed to the gap in left center field.
Graham refused to allow the Nettes to score again in the contest and the Lady Indians emerged victorious 4-3 for their first win of the 2019 season.
LCHS head softball coach Joseph Jones was pleased with his players’ perseverance and never-give-up mentality in the win.
“Not to take away anything from White County, but our emotions got the best of us in the season opener and we looked defeated from the third inning on,” said Jones. “Tonight we had many opportunities. In the third and fourth inning we had runners on second and third and we struck out with less than two outs and didn’t get anything across. Finally, we got in that situation again and strung a few hits together and a couple of things went our way and we scored four in the inning. It was all about our mentality.”
Jones also credited Graham for keeping the Lady Indians in the game with her 4 1/3 innings of scoreless work on the mound.
“Emmie [Graham] did great tonight,” Jones said. “She did an excellent job. She was put in a big situation and she did very well. I am very proud of the way she pitched.”
Jones was happy that his team could earn its first win of the season against the Nettes.
“It feels really good [to pick up our first win of the season],” Jones said. “Our mentality helped us win this game and I hope that they [the Lady Indians] see that.”
The thrill of victory was short lived for the Lady Indians, however, as the team dropped its next three games to fall to 1-4 on the season.
The three-game losing streak started when the Lady Indians traveled to Pickens County to square off with the Nettes at their home field on Thursday, August 8.
Lumpkin scored four runs in the ballgame, but were bested by Pickens County by a final of 9-4.
The Lady Indians then took part in the Rumble at the Ridge Tournament hosted by Peachtree Ridge High School where they played games versus Parkview and host Peachtree Ridge.
Lumpkin lost a close game to Parkview by a final score of 7-5 before being blown out 10-1 by Peachtree Ridge.
The results of the Rumble at the Ridge Tournament put the Lady Indians on a three-game losing skid and dropped their overall record to 1-4.
At press time, the LCHS varsity softball team was set to host Union County on Monday, August 12, before taking on Chestatee on the road on Tuesday, August 13. No official results were available for either game.
The Lady Indians will step back onto the diamond when they host the Chestatee Lady War Eagles at the LCHS softball field tomorrow, August 15. First pitch for the game is set for 5 p.m.