The Alcovy softball team (9-3 overall, 3-0 Region-4-AAAA) displayed a gallant come from behind effort to defeat the Rockdale Lady Bulldogs 6-5 in the first game of a doubleheader at Tiger Field Saturday.
"I got the girls in the dugout in the bottom of the seventh inning and asked them what kind of character they had," Alcovy coach Casey Bates said." "I told them, win or lose, you can show character and come out here and give me what you have. I told them it was gut check time."
The Lady Tigers battled through the first few innings before Johnna Bagley singled home Amber Melton for the winning run in their final at-bat.
"That type of win will go further than winning 16-1," Bates said. "We had a couple of girls that struggled in the first few innings, but they came through in the bottom of the seventh inning. Everyone pitched in today."
Caitlin Williams started for the Lady Tigers, pitching four innings and giving up three runs before the stopper, Dallas Hardin, was called on to quench the Lady Bulldogs' bats for the win.
Rockdale didn't score on Williams until the top of the fourth when leadoff hitter Katlin Baker got on with a walk.
Quila Franklin came to the plate and hit a triple, scoring the runner for the game's first run before getting thrown out at the plate trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park home run. The next batter lined to left for the second out.
Katie Ferrell singled to reach first before Hope Matthews singled to move the runner to second. Then, Alexis Jones singled in a run before stealing second and third and finally scoring on a passed ball. Rockdale took a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth.
Alcovy came up in their half of the inning to score two runs when Amber Melton singled to center field after the first Lady Tiger went down swinging. Summer Kusch tripled to bring in a score before Williams hit a two-out single to right field scoring Kusch. The next batter hit into a 4-3 put out to end the inning with Alcovy behind 3-2.
Rockdale got the two runs back in the fifth when Kattie Overstreet walked before Andrea Mitchell tripled to left bringing in a run.
Ferrell got on with an error by the shortstop and rounded first going into second safely while Mitchell slipped home for the score to in crease the Lady Bulldogs' lead to 5-2 going into the bottom of the inning.
Melton tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a bloop single before scoring the winning run to cap the improbable comeback.
"It was a great game, but everybody wants to finish with a win, said Rockdale head coach Holly Hamilton. I'm proud of the girls. We're young, but we're getting there. Not to take away from Alcovy's win because they've got a very good team."
Bates, who challenged his team in the bottom of the seventh, said the win should go along way to build his player's confidence.
"If you tell me we are going to win 16-1, I'm going to take that every time," bates said. "This one feels much sweeter though."