COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — When the Alcovy Lady Tigers walked off Sutherland Family Softball Field, they jumped up and down chanting “Al-co–vy!” in celebration. They had accomplished something that no other Region 3-AAAAAA team came close to doing — defeat the Woodward Academy Lady War Eagles 6-3.
Thursday’s win sits Alcovy firmly atop the region standings with an 11-0 record.
Once the game was over, head coach Miranda Lamb couldn’t stop smiling after seeing how her team performed on the road.
“It feels so great that, if we take care of business next week, we’ll be the outright regular season champions,” Lamb said. “Woodward always has a good ball club so it feels good to beat those types of teams.”
Alcovy got off to a slow start offensively trailing 2-0 through three innings.
Kaitlyn Williams, who Lamb labeled as one of the team’s leaders in the offseason, seemed to provide a boost in her second plate appearance.
In the top of the fourth, Williams connected on a double to center field. She proceeded to steal third base and later score on a passed ball.
Lamb recognized the impact that series of events had on the team’s confidence the rest of the game.
“It helped [our players] to not get upset in the box,” Lamb said. “We told them, ‘Y’all have seen [Woodward Academy’s pitcher] pitch through the lineup one time, now get in that box with a plan that you’re going to hit a hard line drive or a hard ground ball.’ And it worked.”
The Lady Tigers seemed to take Lamb’s message to heart.
Two at-bats after Williams scored the inaugural run for Alcovy, Kaylie McDonald had an RBI single that scored Makenzie Johnson from third. Alexis Hernandez drove in Alani Munoz for an RBI single. Then, McDonald later scored on a passed ball.
At the end of the fourth, Alcovy had taken a 4-2 lead and never looked back.
CeCe Williams accounted for the Lady Tigers’ fifth run after Johnson brought her across home plate in the fifth inning. Alcovy’s final run came in the top of the sixth inning when Hernandez’s RBI single scored MacKenzie Parrott.
Alcovy’s defense did its job all night, too. In fact, the defense sealed the win on the final play.
From her second base spot, Kaitlyn Williams caught an infield fly ball for an out and quickly turned it into a double play when she threw a Woodward Academy base runner out at first on the same play.
Lamb described the outcome as a “team effort.”
“They’re all softball players, not girls who play softball,” Lamb said. “They got the Tiger down in them to fight. And, even though we went scoreless the first three innings, they stuck with it. I told them [in the post game huddle], ‘From top to bottom, you guys were focused for the full seven innings.’”
This is Alcovy’s second win over Woodward Academy this season. Outside of the two victories over the Lady War Eagles, it’s been smooth sailing for the Lady Tigers.
They’ve defeated all other Region 3-AAAAAA opponents by a combined 172-5.
The Lady Tigers will finish their region schedule next week with a doubleheader at Jonesboro (4-6) on Tuesday and Rockdale County (8-3) comes to town next Thursday.
Outside of those games, the schedule ramps up drastically before the postseason begins.
Alcovy will travel to Grovetown on Sept. 28. On Oct. 1, it will participate in the Grayson Rams Classic facing Coffee County and Campbell High School. The Lady Tigers will go to Social Circle on Oct. 3 and finish up with a road matchup at Lamar County on Oct. 4.
Lamb has one task for her team from now until playoff action: Compete.
“I don’t want them to get complacent by beating these teams 15, 16, 17 to nothing,” Lamb said. “That’s not what we’re going to see. Because [our upcoming opponents] are good ball clubs and we need to see that before we’re in the playoffs.”