In a battle for the No. 2 spot in the Region 7-AAAAA standings Monday night, East Paulding won at Woodland 5-3.
The visiting Lady Raiders scored three times in the top of the first inning and extended their lead to 4-0 in the top of the third. Woodland chipped away with a run in the third and two more in the fifth inning, but got no closer. East Paulding added an insurance run in the seventh on a Madison Moreland home run.
Raiders pitchers Kaitlin Walden and Kyra Lightner combined in the circle for a three hitter. Walden worked the first five innings and struck out four. Lightner retired the final six outs with one strikeout.
Lainey Baker (7 IP, 5ER, 7H, 2BB, 9K) went the distance in the circle and was saddled with the pitching loss for the Lady Cats.
Hannah Davis had two hits for the Raiders. Walden finished with a double and three RBI. Maggie O’Kelley doubled home a run. Graci Summers and Alyssa Salois had the other East Paulding safeties.
Kendyl Hardin had a two-run double for Woodland in the fifth inning that cut the East Paulding lead to 4-3. Ansley Evans had an infield hit earlier in the same frame. Bella Carnes had the other Wildcats hit.
East Paulding improved to 10-8 overall and 7-2 in region play.
It gets no easier for Woodland (9-6, 6-3) who had a seven game winning streak snapped. The Lady Cats travel to region-leading Carrollton Tuesday for a 5:55 p.m. first pitch. The Lady Trojans are 15-1 for the season and 8-0 in the region.
CARTERSVILLE 20, DARLINGTON 3
Cartersville trailed 3-0 after one inning at Darlington Monday evening, but from the second inning forward the Lady Canes dominated in a 20-3, four-inning, non-region win.
Cartersville scored four runs in the second inning, seven in the third, and plated nine runs in the fourth while pounding out 17 hits.
Kiley Arnold (4 IP, 3R, 1ER, 4H, 1BB, 1K) was the winning pitcher for Cartersville. Lily Fowler (4 IP, 20R, 5ER, 17H, 3BB, 2K) suffered the pitching loss for the host Tigers. Her defense committed five errors behind her.
AnnaKate McElhaney had three hits and drove in three runs for the Lady Canes. Hope Short also finished with three hits, including a double. Cio Seigler drove in a pair of runs and had two hits including a double. Arnold also contributed two hits and one RBI. Rylie Harris (3 RBI), Ava Perkins (2 RBI), Lauren McElhaney, and Campbell Rogers contributed one hit apiece. Mikey Lewis drove in a run.
The loss drops Darlington to 0-7 for the season.
Cartersville (10-9, 4-4 Region 5-AAAA) hosts Coahulla Creek in another non-region game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. before returning to region play Thursday and Saturday at home against Sandy Creek and LaGrange. Thursday’s game is a 5:55 p.m. start. Saturday’s game will begin at 12:30 p.m.
VILLA RICA 10, CASS 9
The Lady Colonels never trailed Monday night at Villa Rica until the final at-bat of the game when Autumn Hale hit a walk-off, two-run home run that lifted the host Lady Wildcats to a dramatic 10-9 Region 7-AAAAA win over Cass.
Each time the Lady Colonels built a lead, Villa Rica produced runs to stay close and a pair of two-run home runs in the bottom of the seventh provided the difference. Toree Wofford narrowed the Cass lead to 9-8 earlier in the seventh prior to Hale’s walkoff.
Villa Rica hit two other homers in the contest. Madi Langford had a two-run blast in the third inning that cut the Cass lead to 4-3 and Emily Scara hit a solo shot in the fifth inning when the Lady Cats narrowed a Cass lead to 7-6.
The Lady Colonels hit a pair of home runs themselves.
Ansley Hight hit a two-run homer in the first inning that put Cass ahead 3-0. Haley Smith hit a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning as the Lady Colonels built a 7-3 lead.
Langford, Wofford, Hale, and Addie Orr combined for eight hits and seven of Villa Rica’s RBI.
Rachael Leet (6.2 IP, 10R, 7ER, 13H, 0BB, 3K) suffered the pitching loss for the Lady Colonels in a complete-game effort.
Wofford (7 IP, 9R, 7ER, 12H, 1BB, 4K) was the winner in the circle for the Wildcats.
Hight finished with three hits including a double, home run, and two RBI for Cass. Saydee Najarro had two hits including a double and three RBI. Smith had a single to go with her home run. Alexis Woods drove in two runs and had two hits. Kelly Young, Eryn Lee, and Rachael Lee had the other Colonels hits.
With their win, Villa Rica moves to 7-7 overall and 5-4 in Region 7-AAAAA. The Wildcats also took over sole possession of fourth place in the league.
Cass (7-8, 3-6) returns to the diamond Tuesday at home against Rome at 5:55 p.m. and will entertain Kell Thursday with the same starting time.