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PREP SOFTBALL: Newton Rams shine on Senior night
Mariah Williams
Rams senior Mariah Williams lays down a perfect bunt single late against the Shiloh Generals. Photo by Michael Pope.

COVINGTON, Ga. - In the Newton Rams (16-6, 6-3) last home game of the regular season, the Rams prevailed over the Shiloh Generals (8-10, 3-6) in an impressive six-inning 8-0 victory on senior night.

Senior Mariah Williams led the charge early for the Rams. In the first inning, She earned a walk in her first at-bat, stole second and scored the first run of the ball game off of a Ty'Liah Hardeman single. 

The Rams offense would get off to an exceptional start, adding three more runs in the first to take an early 4-0 lead. In the Generals and Rams last meeting, it was the Generals who took an early lead and the Rams had to fight back.

This quick start was a pleasant showing for head coach Virginia Tucker-Smith. She cited slow starts of her offenses not only in that match but also in recent matches as an area she hoped to improve. 

"That seems to always be an issue with us, it's kind of like we have to test the waters in the first couple of innings instead of just jumping on teams," Tucker-Smith said. "I'm glad to see that we jumped on them early instead of just sitting around waiting on the perfect pitch."

The Rams would add on two more runs in both the fifth and sixth inning to push the game to a mercy-rule victory. The Rams would pair their excellent offensive start with another shut own performance from sophomore Hayden Pearson. She struck out four in six innings of work and only allowed one hit and one walk. 

Pearson's strong performances have been a highlight for the Rams all season and should be a staple for them in postseason play. Pearson was not the only young standout performer for the Rams as Kyla Stroud continued her great run of play going 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI.

Tucker-Smith has been waiting for Stroud to break out and her recent play is a sign of what the future holds for the freshman. However, Tucker-Smith is interested in seeing how Stroud performs against their cross-county rivals, who boasts one of the best pitchers in the area. 

"The test will be tomorrow with Kailey (Rusk, Eastside Eagles senior pitcher)," Tucker-Smith said. "I'd like to see how Stroud hits against her because I'd like to see how she adjusts from today to tomorrow with the change in speed and change in movement and all that coming tomorrow."

Although these two young future stars for the Rams played well against the Generals, it was senior night, and Tucker-Smith could not be more proud of that group.

"They're all so different, but they're fun more than anything and they're all goofy in their own way," Tucker-Smith said. "They talk to each other about loving each other and really being a sisterhood, and I think that's what's most important."

Tucker-Smith knows how much her players next game means to them as they take on the Eastside Eagles (18-1, 7-0) in a match that she said many of the players really expressed interest in playing. 

It's bragging rights between two rival schools, and they will face off this Wednesday, September 25th at 6 p.m. at Eastside High School.