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Lady Wildcats close regular season with split against Valwood

CORDELE— The Crisp Academy Lady Wildcat softball team hosted a double header against one of the GISA class 3-A region champs, Valwood, on Thursday afternoon to close out their regular season schedule. The Lady Valiants took game one 16-6, but the Lady Wildcats took the second contest by a final score of 4-1.

Valwood 16, CA 6

Valwood jumped out to a 5-0 lead early on in game one with three runs in the top of the first and two runs in the top of the second frame.

The Lady Wildcats got their first run of the game on the board in the bottom of the second frame. Haley Odom reached base after being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and she later made it over to third base after a passed ball followed by a sacrifice bunt from Mary McCabe. Odom then scored the first Crisp Academy run on an error after Erika Mauldin put the ball in play on the infield. CA trailed 5-1 going into the third inning.

The Lady Valiants tacked on three runs in the top of the third, but Crisp picked up two in the bottom half to keep within five runs of the lead.

Sadie Mercer drew a walk to lead off CA’s half of the third inning, and Eliza Hill followed up by reaching base on an error. Maddie Reed subsequently drew a walk to load up the bases for CA, and Mia Purvis hit a two-RBI single to center field in the next at bat to score Hill and Mercer. Valwood led 8-3 after three innings played.

The Lady Valiants answered in the top of the fourth inning with four runs to stretch their lead out to 12-3.

CA picked up their final three runs of the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Mercer drew a one out walk and Reed sent her home with an RBI single later in the inning. Purvis hit an RBI double to score Reed in the next at bat, and Odom followed with an RBI single to send Purvis home for the final run of the inning.

Valwood tacked on four more runs in the top of the fifth inning and closed game one out by the final score of 16-6.

Purvis was the game one offensive leader for CA with two hits in three at bats, three RBIs and one run scored. Reed and Odom had a hit and an RBI each. Mercer was the leading run scorer for CA with two.

Emily Taylor led the Valwood lineup in the game with a perfect 4-4 batting performance with four RBIs.

CA 4, Valwood 1

In the nightcap, Valwood took a first inning lead but Crisp held them to just the one run and got the bats going in the second inning to take the lead.

Purvis led off the bottom of the second with a single, and Savannah Malone picked up a hit later in the inning to give CA two runners on base with just one out. Mauldin followed with an RBI hit to right field for the first Wildcat run of the game, and Malone later scored on a wild pitch for the 2-1 lead. Libby Manning next picked up a two-out RBI single to give CA a 3-1 lead going into the third frame.

The teams swapped scoreless half innings up until the bottom of the fourth when the Lady Cats picked up an insurance run. Mauldin picked up another hit to start the inning and Mercer was used as a courtesy runner. Mercer later scored in the inning after a Valwood error on a groundball off the bat of Manning. CA entered the fifth inning with a 4-1 lead.

The Lady Wildcat defense came up with three plays in the top of the fifth to close the game out from there. Abigail Brown made a barehanded pickup and throw to first on a slow rolling groundball for the first out of the inning. Mauldin then came up firing from her catcher’s position on a grounder right in front of the plate for out number two. The final play came on a tough ground ball behind second base, on which Reed came all the way over from short to scoop the ball up and fire to first for the final out of the game.

Manning was the winning pitcher for CA with five innings pitched in which she allowed only one run on two hits and two walks while striking out one batter. She helped out the batting lineup with the RBI single in the three-run bottom of the second.

The Lady Wildcats finished third in region 3-AA this season and the AA playoff bracket will see them travel to play Gatewood for the first round of the GISA AA playoffs on Tuesday afternoon in Eatonton.