COVINGTON, Ga. - In a battle for first place in the region, the Newton Rams (10-4, 5-2) fell to the Grayson Rams (15-2,7-0) by a score of 2-0 in a very tight match.
Newton Rams head coach Virginia Tucker-Smith was very pleased with the showing of her team, but she knows how agonizing it can be to come so close to beating a team like Grayson.
"They're disappointed, and I think they've just realized as close as this was, there really was that opportunity to win so you don't ever want to walk away in a close one thinking 'should of, could of, would of," Tucker-Smith said. "But that's why we told them, 'take what was good from here.' We played solid defense like we did against Archer and Hayden was hitting her spots tonight."
Both Grayson and Newton had phenomenal pitching performances from their starters. Grayson's junior starter Kylie Macy was just a little more dominant, as she finished with a perfect game performance in which she finished with 17 strikeouts.
Macy was outstanding, but Newton's sophomore starter Hayden Pearson kept up with Macy throughout the night. Pearson did a good job of keeping base runners from scoring and only giving up two runs to this Grayson offense is truly remarkable.
Pearson was backed up by a strong defense that was laying out for plays and keeping the Grayson offense at bay. With strong defense and shutdown pitching, when the bats get going Newton has shown how dominant they can be. They most recently showed in their last game against South Gwinnett that ended in a 29-1 victory.
The last two times these Grayson and Newton played ended in a mercy-rule shortened game that saw Grayson walk away with a 13-0 victory. Since then, Newton has dominated in region play and shot up to second in the region.
Coach Tucker-Smith consistently said that she was proud of her whole team and how hard they fought for the duration of the game and knows the potential of her team.
Newton's strong performances over the past few weeks and in this game is a testament to how much they have progressed as a team and how dangerous they can be in the coming weeks.
They will look to continue their strong performances this weekend as they will play in the Morgan County Tourney on Friday and Saturday.