High School Softball
East Coweta makes most of Northgate miscues in victory
by Doug Gorman
After back-to-back wins to start this week, Northgate’s softball team was in a giving mood at home Wednesday afternoon and East Coweta was more than happy to accept the generosity in an non-region class between county rivals.
The Lady Indians took advantage of four errors to score three unearned runs that put East Coweta ahead for good in a 6-3 victory.
It was the seventh straight win for the Lady Indians, who improved their early season record to 10-1. East Coweta defeated Woodstock on Monday and now faces a trip to Heard County today.
“It’s always good to win, but I am more impressed with the way we are playing against quality opponents,” East Coweta head coach Franklin DeLoach said.
Northgate, which fell to 7-3 after winning back-to-back games over Newnan and Drew on Monday and Tuesday, took the upper-hand to open Wednesday’s game.
Jenna Pealor’s RBI double in the bottom of the first gave the Lady Vikings a 1-0 lead.
But the Lady Indians pushed four runs across in the third with help from a Northgate error to take a lead for good on an outing where they also outhit their opponents by an 8-5 margin.
Shemiah Sanchez had the big blow in the third inning for the Lady Indians, driving home two runs with a triple to help spark the rally.
Hailey Baswell, Ashley Gunter and Jamie Vitale each singled and scored in the inning to help the Lady Indians jump ahead 4-1.
Northgate cut its deficit to two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Pealor drove in Ebonee Echols with her second RBI of the game.
Defense again, however, allowed East Coweta to pull away.
Three straight two-out errors by Northgate in the bottom of the fifth helped the Lady Indians plate their final two runs across the plate and take a 6-2 lead.
Northgate put together one last rally attempt in the bottom of the sixth when Jessica Houk tripled home Cochran.
DeLoach swapped his two pitchers while starting young standout Rachel Vaughn and allowing his top returning hurler, Morgan Goree, a chance to come into the game in relief.
“It’s nice to have depth with or pitchers because we haven’t had it since 2008 “ DeLoach said. “We experimented with different things, and those experiences are priceless early in the season. I have total confidence in both girls.
Vaughn threw six innings, gave up five hits and struck out three and walked just one. Goree pitched the seventh and shut down the Lady Vikings in order, and also striking out a batter.
Northgate stuck with using both of its pitchers again with Kaitlin Bailey pitching into the third and allowing four runs, six hits, walking three and striking out two. Hadlee Lewis pitched the rest of the way, allowing two hit, striking out one and walking two.
East Coweta is still trying to bring senior first baseman Lauren Liebe back slowly from a hamstring injury, but she finished with a hit before leaving the game.
“Her leadership out there is something that can’t be replaced. She is like a coach on the field,” DeLoach said. “She is a very good base runner, but we are not going to put her in motion this early in the year.”
Sanchez had two hits in the winning effort for the East Coweta. Pealor’s two hits led the Lady Vikings offense.
LADY INDIANS 6, LADY VIKINGS 3
East Coweta 004 020 0—6
Northgate 101 001 0—3
WP — Rachel Vaughn
LP — Kaitlin Bailey