The Sonoraville Lady Phoenix and Gordon Central Lady Warriors both competed in the Lady Devils Fall Classic at Alto Park in Rome on Saturday to kick off their 2012 seasons, and the two got pretty opposite results.
Sonoraville went 2-0-1, and Gordon Central went 0-3.
The tournament was scheduled to begin on Friday, but Rains in Rome postponed play on opening day. The games were then rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, before being moved back again to 1 p.m. The 16-team field was divided into four pools, and each team played three games within their pool. The tournament usually consists of championship rounds after pool play but due to the postponement, the teams only played their three pool games.
The Lady Phoenix, who were assigned to Pool D opened up play against Bremen on Saturday afternoon and came away with 5-1 win behind the strong pitching of Lily Hayes and timely hitting of Eady Beth Connaly.
Hayes pitched a complete game and allowed just one run (unearned) on five hits with two strikeouts. She also had a double and an RBI at the plate.
Connaly had two hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Alisha Bridges had two hits, a stolen base and scored two runs, and Morgan Allen also had two hits.
After the win over Bremen, Sonoraville took on Pepperell and tied the Lady Dragons, 3-3. (The game ended in a tie because the time limit ran out.)
Avery Beason was a perfect 3-for-3 in that game with two runs scored. Bridges added two more hits, and Tiffany Vowell had a sac fly. Emily Pruitt pitched in the game, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out four.
The Lady Phoenix then closed out their triple-header with a 5-2 win over host Model, utilizing mostly younger players in the win.
Overall, Sonoraville coach Chad Hayes, who is entering his first year as Lady Phoenix head coach, said the tournament was a success.
“I thought we played well,” said Hayes. “We played solid defensively. I would’ve liked to swing the bats better, but that will come with time. That’s probably the biggest thing we’ll work on is being more patient at the plate.
“We finished last year with six straight losses so it’s good to be on the winning side of things. The girls are really positive and together.”
The other local team in the tournament didn’t fair as well, as Gordon Central went 0-3 in Pool A.
The Lady Warriors started off with a 4-0 loss to Woodland. Pitcher Maci Mills pitched the complete game, allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out seven. Offensively, Mills and Shawnda Martin each had a hit.
Gordon Central then played Dalton, falling 7-2. Megan Campbell had two hits, including a double, and scored a run. Martin and Diana Hernandez each had a hit, and Taylor Wells drew two walks and scored a run. Mills struck out seven on the mound.
In the finale, the Lady Warriors fell 5-4 to Armuchee after letting the Lady Indians rally for four runs in the last inning.
Mills once again pitched, striking out seven again to bring her strikeout total to 21 in the three games. Mills, Campbell, Martin and Wells each had a hit apiece, with Wells going for a double.
“I felt good about the tournament overall,” said Gordon Central coach Brian Little. “We played some good competition, and it’s good practice for when region starts.
“The biggest thing we need to work on is being able to adjust to pitching, especially hitting off-speed pitches. We’ll just continue to work to try to get better in all aspects of the game.”