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Lady Tigers fall in the 2nd round
Alcovy senior Kalia Johnson pitching against Mill Creek on Wednesday. The Lady Tigers were swept and had their season ended in the second round for the second-straight year.

It was a slow day at the plate for Alcovy softball in its second-round matchup against Mill Creek, Wednesday, which wasn’t enough to support pitcher Kalia Johnson, and wasn’t enough to continue the Lady Tigers’ season.

Alcovy (14-6) exited the playoffs after a 10-0 six-inning loss and a 9-1 five-inning loss in the best-of-three series with the Lady Hawks.

To start the first game, Johnson gave up two singles to the first two batters she faced, but settled down after that, escaping the inning with a groundout, pop fly and strikeout.

Johnson’s effort, though, couldn’t overcome the offensive struggles for Alcovy, which didn’t get a runner past first base in game one. The only runner to advance past first all day was Johnson herself on a home run in the top of the fourth of game two.

Mill Creek, on the other hand, put its bats to work, starting in game one. The Lady Hawks started the action in the top of the second with two singles and a two-run triple to take a 2-0 lead. Then with a runner on third and no outs, a troubled Johnson responded with a strikeout, a pop fly out and a strikeout.

Alcovy reached base in the bottom of the third as Emma Waddell was hit by a pitch. But she was thrown out attempting to steal second. Corley Thacker walked, but again couldn’t push the Lady Tigers past first, thanks to a groundout and a strikeout to end the inning.

The top of the fourth inning was short and sweet for the Johnson and the Lady Tigers. Johnson induced two groundouts, allowed a single and induced another groundout.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, junior Tanisha “Skeeter” Williams walked, but was left stranded.

The top of the fifth inning was the turning point in game one. After a groundout and a single, the Lady Hawks got a run-scoring triple to take a 3-0 lead. Mill Creek freshman Maddison Koepke then hit an inside the park home run that plated two, making the score 5-0 Lady Hawks.

Mill Creek wasn’t done.

The Lady Hawks managed another single, and Alcovy errors put the runner in scoring position. After another single and error, two more runs crossed the plate for Mill Creek.

Alcovy couldn’t answer. Throughout the next two innings Alcovy hitters went down in order.

“We made too many errors. It hurt us both games,” Alcovy coach Brandy Keeter said.

Game two was much the same, and started with the Lady Tigers’ groundout and strikeout. They did manage to get a runner on base on a walk, but another ground out ended the inning.

Johnson, on the mound again in game two, struck out the first two batters she faced and got a groundout to finish the inning.

But with no Alcovy runs to speak of after an inning-and-a-half, Mill Creek jumped out offensively. The Lady Hawks started with a single and a stolen base followed by a walk and a two-run single. They got a double scoring a run, and with two outs, scored again on a Lady Tigers’ error before grounding out to end the inning.

The top of the third didn’t net any momentum for the Lady Tigers. Two pop fly outs and a strikeout quickly ended the top of the third. The Lady Hawks got another run scored on an error in the bottom of the third, and the score was 5-0.
In the top of the fourth, Johnson hit a home run with two outs, but the celebration was short-lived. Mill Creek struck out the following batter.

The Lady Tigers couldn’t get any momentum in the top of the fifth, as they struck out twice and grounded out. Mill Creek put it away in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring four more runs on two RBI singles, a RBI double and a RBI triple, ending the game.

Alcovy seniors Raven Smith and Kalia Johnson will be signing their respective letters of intent to attend college on Nov. 13 — Smith at West Georgia University, and Johnson the University of Kentucky.