The Charlton County Maiden softball team got off to a good start to their season by winning region games against Irwin County and Echols County before falling short against Class AAAAAAA North Cobb. 

Opening the year at home last Tuesday, the Maidens made quick work of Irwin County. Charlton scored seven times in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back. Samantha Baxter got the scoring started with an RBI double that scored Javonna Dykes. After a steal of third, Baxter came home on a groundout by Kylee Varnes. After a walk, a hit batter, and a double steal, Tiffany Rivera scored on a bunt by Brooke Spivey. Natalie Lynch followed with an RBI single to make the score 4-0. Another walk and hit batter loaded the bases. Dykes was hit by a pitch forcing home another run before Baxter’s second double of the inning plated two more runners. 

Charlton added five more runs in the second inning. Spivey doubled home two runners and would come home herself on a wild pitch. Dykes drove in the 11th run with a double and came home on Baxter’s third run scoring double of the game. 

Irwin would get on the board in the top of the third inning on a bases-loaded walk, but the Maidens would answer in their half of the inning. Addison Crews doubled home Kara Dean and Elizabeth Carlisle was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Crews scored on a wild pitch putting Charlton ahead, 15-1. 

Irwin was retired in order in the fourth inning and the game was called due to the mercy rule. 

Baxter’s three hits and four RBI’s led the Maidens, while Spivey drove in three runners. Emma Woolard and Emilee Zetmeir both pitched two innings combining to allow just one hit. 

On Thursday, the Maidens would host Echols County in another Region 2-A contest. Once again, Charlton jumped out to an early lead, scoring three times in the first inning. Baxter would walk, steal second and third, and come home on a Varnes single. Varnes would come around and score on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch allowed Leah Boatright to score from third, giving Charlton a 3-0 lead. 

Echols would cut into the lead with single runs in the second and third innings to get within a run but the Maidens answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the third. 

An RBI double by Baxter and a groundout by Woolard increased the lead to 5-2. Tiffany Rivera doubled and scored on a single by Gabby Tillis. Spivey drove in the final run of the inning with a single, making it 7-2. 

After blanking the Wildcats in the top of the fourth, the Maidens would end the game in the bottom half by scoring six more times. Charlton got run-scoring hits by Dykes, Woolard, Tillis, and Andrea Duke, along with two runs scoring on wild pitches to end the game with a 14-2 win. 

Dykes, Baxter, Woolard, and Tillis all had two hits for Charlton while Woolard didn’t allow any hits, while striking out nine batters on the mound. 

In the final game of the week, the Maidens hosted North Cobb, who was playing several games down south. For the first time, the Maidens fell behind early as the Warriors scored two first inning runs. 

But Charlton rallied back, scoring twice in the second inning. Tillis got things started with a one-out single and consecutive errors on bunts scored the first Maiden run. Abby Safford followed with another bunt single that tied the score at 2-2. 

In the third inning, the Maidens would take the lead. A double by Baxter, a walk to Woolard, and an infield single by Rivera loaded the bases before Tillis came through with a single scoring two runs for a 4-2 advantage. 

North Cobb scored once in the top of the fifth and the score remained 4-3 until the top of the seventh when the Warrior bats woke up. After the first two batters reached the next batter, hit a three-run homer to give North Cobb a 6-4 lead. They would add two more runs giving Charlton an uphill climb in the bottom of the seventh. 

Dykes walked, stole second and third and scored when Baxter reached on an error. But a line drive double play ended the game as Charlton suffered their first loss, 8-5. 

Tillis led the Maidens with three hits and two RBI’s.