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PREP SOFTBALL: No. 7 Eastside, Kailey Rusk off to hot start
EHS/Piedmont softball
Eastside pitcher Kailey Rusk fires a strike past Piedmont's Neely Bradford (at bat in white). - photo by Mike Harrison

MONTICELLO, Ga. — Kailey Rusk pitched her second complete game shutout of the young season Thursday evening in Monticello to lead the Class AAAA No. 7 Eastside Lady Eagles (2-0) to a 6-0 win over the defending Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AA state champion Piedmont Academy (0-1). 

Eastside scored two runs in the first inning off Lady Cougar starter Neely Bradford before Bradford settled down and struck out two to end the inning.

Jakirya Lemmons hit a three-run homer in the top of the third, and Rusk hit a solo shot in the fifth to provide the final score. 

Lady Eagle freshman Lauren Burnett reached base three times — twice on hits and once when she was hit by a pitch — and had an RBI in the first. 

Piedmont was not without highlights of its own. Bradford hit a line drive ball to the warning track with two on that would have put the Lady Cougars right back in it if it went over, and Lady Cougar outfielder Cassidy Cook made all three putouts in one inning, catching three well-hit balls to left field.  

It was the second straight strong showing in the circle for Rusk as the Kennesaw State commit tossed a 6-0 complete game shutout with 12 strikeouts in Tuesday’s opener against Jackson. Rusk said getting back into action “felt good,” although she said she’s still looking for improvement. 

Eastside faced Newton Saturday in a Peachtree Ridge Tournament, and will next host Monticello Tuesday and travel to Henry County to begin Region 4-AAAA play Thursday. 

Check in at to see our coverage of Eastside and Newton’s appearance in the Peachtree Ridge Tournament.