The Alcovy Tigers passed their first postseason test with flying colors Tuesday night at home against Rockdale County, shutting out the Bulldogs 8-0 in the first round of the Region 2-AAAAAA softball tournament.
The Tigers recorded just four hits in the win, but scored four runs in each of the first two innings to send the Bulldogs into the tournament's loser bracket.
Morgan Beshears and Holly Murphy led Alcovy at the plate with a hit apiece, while the Tigers' Kayla Johnson struck out nine batters in five innings of work.
“We did what we had to do,” Alcovy coach Russell Brock said. “Rockdale is a good team and we’re just glad to get a win. Hopefully we can come out and do it again. We have to be consistent tomorrow and run the bases well again. We did a great job of that tonight, and I hope to see it carry over.”
Alcovy opened its scoring in the first inning on a Rockdale passed ball, plating Raven Smith on the Bulldogs' error for a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers extended their advantage to 3-0 on a second Rockdale passed ball and a Bulldogs' throwing error, scoring their fourth and final run of the frame on a Jordan White bunt single. White's infield bunt allowed Murphy to touch home, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead after the first.
Rockdale's Kelsey Stewart recorded the Bulldogs' lone hit in the second inning, but Alcovy responded with another 4-run inning in the second frame.
Despite a Rockdale pitching change, the Tigers rolled off a pair of runs on a Rockdale throwing error, scoring Aubrey Thacker and Chelsie Nolley on the fielding miscue.
Alcovy added two more runs on a Smith sacrifice fly and a Murphy RBI-single.
The Tigers carried their shutout into the fifth inning, clinching the 8-0 victory.
Sydney Driver started on the mound for Rockdale, allowing four runs on two hits and four walks. Miasia Mayer tossed the final three innings for the Bulldogs, allowing four runs on two hits and one walk.
"It was a tough opening round loss," Rockdale coach Justin Arrington said. "We came out kind of flat and it showed out there. It's hard to play during a break, but Alcovy has the same situation going on"
"After we settled in, we played pretty well, but against a good team like that, you can't give them anything," he said. "We need to bounce back quick. We don't have to wait, which is a great thing. We can come out and prove the next day what we have in us against the rest of our region."
Nesha Morris, Jordan White and Johnson also had hits for the Tigers.
Alcovy returns to action tonight at 6:30 p.m. against Newton. The Rams won their opening round game 5-3 over Luella.
Rockdale will take on Luella at 4:30 p.m. All games will be played at Alcovy.
If the Tigers advance past Newton in the second round of the region tournament, Alcovy will play Friday in the tournament championship.
A loss tomorrow would mean that the Tigers would play Thursday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.