Goggins helps power Newnan to win in season opener
by Doug Gorman
The Newnan Lady Cougars used solid pitching and enough timely hitting to beat visiting LaGrange 3-1 in Tuesday's 2013 season opener on the softball diamond in front of a large home crowd.
With the game tied at 1-all in the bottom of the fifth, Newnan took the lead on senior shortstop Chaycie Goggins' two-run homer.
Goggins delivered a line drive over the fence in leftcenter to give the Lady Cougars the two-run lead.
'It's a great way to get things started,' said Newnan coach Carrie Gilmore. 'It was nice to open up with a good crowd here, and it's a win at that.'
After Goggins staked her team to the two-run lead, starting pitcher Tori Loveless allowed just one more LaGrange base runner to reach to help preserve the victory.
Newnan left fielder Lauren Ferguson made a running catch for the final out of the game.
It came with the last LaGrange base runner on second.
'That batter had been hitting the ball hard all night, but Lauren made a great catch to end the game,' Gilmore said.
Both teams scored their first runs of the game with two-outs.
Newnan relied on heads up base-running in the bottom of the third to take the early 1-0 lead.
Leadoff hitter Shania Colton singled with two outs in the inning and stole both second and third, From there, control problems hurt LaGrange's hopes of getting out of the inning.
Goggins was hit by a pitch and Arden Jobe walked to load the bases.
Things went from bad to worse for the Lady Grangers when Lindsay Stewart was hit by a pitch to bring home Colton for the 1-0 lead.
LaGrange cut into the lead with a two-out rally of its own when leadoff hitter Karsin Spinks reached on an error in the fifth.
The Grangers kept the rally going and tied the game at 1-1 when Lauren Robinson smacked a base hit.
After the home run, Gilmore said her team was able to relax a little bit.
The two-run homer quickly gave the Lady Cougars the momentum back.
'It was huge' Gilmore said. 'Chaycie really came through with the run we needed and the insurance run, so that really pumped us up in the dugout.'
Loveless was in control of the contest most of game. After giving up the lead-off hit to Spinks to home the contest she struck out the next three batters.
She also gave up a one-out hit in the second inning, but Newnan put out the Lady Grangers' rally attempt by turning the double play.
Loveless gave up just four hits en route to the victory.
'Tori did a good job hold us in the game,' Gilmore said.
Newnan heads to Carrollton starting today where it will participate in the Georgia Dugout Club tournament.
'It's big to play in these early tournaments,' Gilmore said. 'It gives us a lot of chances to mix our lineups up. We have a little more depth this year in those nonregion games to experiment.'
LAGRANGE 000 0100-1 41 NEWNAN 001 020X-3 43 HR: Chacyie Goggins WP Tori Loveless