The Charlton County Maidens slow pitch softball team wrapped up a spot in the state tournament last Wednesday after winning two of three games at the sectional tournament in Woodstock.
The Maidens will return to Woodstock this Wednesday when they play Franklin County in the opening round at 10:00 am in the double elimination tourney.
Charlton would open the sectional tournament against Class AAAAAA Sequoyah. Things didn’t look good for the Maidens after Sequoyah scored five times in the top of the first inning.
But the Maidens bounced back scoring three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Savannah Pollock led off with a double and tagged up on a fly ball to get to third. Lauran Allbritton’s sacrifice fly put Charlton on the board. Jalees Murphy and Javonna Dykes followed with singles and came home on a double off the bat of Tiffany Rivera to cut the lead to 5-3.
Charlton would take the lead in the second inning when six runs were scored to take a 9-5 advantage. With two outs, Rachael Lepley singled and Pollock followed with a two-run home run to tie the score. A walk to Samantha Baxter was followed by back-to-back RBI doubles by Allbritton and Murphy. Dykes added a run-scoring single and would come home on a hit by Andrea Duke.
Four more Maidens crossed the plate in the third inning. After back-to-back walks to Brooke Spivey and Lepley, Pollock continued her hot hitting with an RBI double. Baxter, Allbritton and Murphy picked up RBI’s in the inning as the lead grew to 13-5.
The scoreboard would get a break until the Maidens added their final run in the bottom of the sixth. Rivera led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Duke to make the final score 14-5.
Game two pitted the Maidens against Class AAAAAAA Kennesaw Mountain. Again, Charlton would find themselves in an early hole as Kennesaw Mountain scored six times in the top of the first.
But again, the Maidens began to dig out of that hole in their first at-bat. Three straight walks to open the inning was followed by Allbritton’s sacrifice fly, an RBI groundout by Rivera, and a run-scoring single by Dykes to cut the deficit to 6-3.
After Kennesaw Mountain scored once in the second, the Maidens answered back with three more runs. After loading the bases on walks, Pollock hit a sacrifice fly and Baxter’s RBI groundout plus an error allowed the Maidens to get within a run at 7-6.
But Kennesaw kept hitting and added three runs in the third inning to take a 10-6 advantage but Pollock drove in two more runs with a single as Charlton now trailed, 10-8.
Kennesaw Mountain added nine more runs over the next three innings and the Maidens’ bats went cold until Pollock hit her second home run of the tournament to make the final score 19-9.
Next up was area foe and Class AAAAA Thomas County Central in a game that would determine who would advance to the state tourney. For the third straight game, the Maidens found themselves behind in the top of the first inning after the Lady Yellow Jackets scored five times.
But like before, the Maidens would show their mettle and score five of their own to tie the score at 5-5 after an inning. Pollock got the scoring started with her third home run of the day to lead off the inning. Singles by Baxter, Murphy, and Dykes added another run before two errors allowed the tying runs to score.
After Thomas County Central scored once in the top of the second the Maidens would take the lead for good in the bottom half. A two-out double by Allbritton and a run scoring single by Dykes would give Charlton a 7-6 lead.
In the third inning, Charlton would get run-scoring hits by Pollock and Baxter and open up an 11-6 lead. After a scoreless fourth inning, Charlton added to the lead in the fifth. An RBI groundout by Natalie Lynch and back-to-back doubles by Allbritton and Murphy pushed the lead to 15-6. An error allowed the final run to score as the game was called due to the mercy rule with Charlton on top, 16-6.
Pollock led the Maidens in the tournament with eight hits, eight runs, and ten RBIs. Dykes finished with seven hits and six RBIs, while Allbritton added six hits and seven RBIs. Lepley picked up both wins on the mound for Charlton.