Columbia Academy avoids Lady Bulldog upset
The Lady Dawgs had a prime opportunity to move to within striking distance of the number two spot in District 11A with a meeting against the number one seed Columbia Academy (13-6, 8-0) on Thursday night in Cornersville, but fell 7-3 to their namesakes.
Cornersville (7-6, 3-3) came into the game suffering an 11-game losing streak to CA with its last win coming in the state tournament season of 2011 with an 11-3 victory in the district tournament.
Cornersville put itself in position to pull off the upset by cutting the Columbia Academy lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the second inning, but the Lady Dawgs left the bases loaded in that inning and a pivotal seventh inning rally gave the visitors a hard fought 7-3 win for its 12th straight win over the longtime rivals.
"Our girls learned that they could fight tonight," Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree said. "They showed they had fight in them. We just can't take one or two innings off. When we're winning and hitting the ball--we're loose on the field, we're playing like we're supposed to play. When we get tense, we make errors and that's the bottom line."
Columbia Academy struck first when the inning was almost over for Cornersville pitcher Kirsten Young when with two outs CA pitcher Shelby Cummins sent a bomb over the right field fence with two on for the early 3-0 lead.
The home team wasted little time catching up in the bottom on the same inning when a Hannah Singleton walk, followed by Emma Mitchell and Carson Coble singles loaded the bases for Madison Hopkins, who also earned a walk to add a run before a Mikaela King hit to Cummins resulted in an error to first base to close the gap to one run at 3-2.
Cornersville missed another opportunity to add to the run total with the bases loaded and just one out but a Miranda Cooksey strikeout and a Young ground out to the pitcher ended the Bulldog threat.
The Bulldogs would threaten again in the bottom of the fourth inning when Sam Prosser led off with a shot into right field and after a Hopkins sacrifice fly advanced the runner to second, Prosser was ruled out on a questionable call from the umpire calling the runner out at second for not tagging up before advancing to third base.
"That call was really a big upset for us because our momentum was getting back up," Coble, who led the Bulldogs with three hits said. "When they take that away from us, that's like a punch in the mouth."
The Cornersville defense fell apart in the sixth inning when a pitcher error allowed two runs to score before Cummins knocked a single to left to score two more runs for the 7-2 lead and the damage was done.
The Bulldogs had one more chance in the final frame when Coble smacked a double deep to left field to score Emma Mitchell to cut the lead to 7-3.
Prosser would reach base on a walk and Hopkins would add a single to load the bases with just one out before a pop up to second and a strike out ended the game.
"We need to keep our heads in the game," Coble said. "Through every out, through every hit, through every strike. We were unfocused and it showed. When we play as a team, we know we are going to win because we know we are good and have the potential to do big things."
The Bulldogs took another loss out of district against inter-county rival Marshall County 3-0 on Friday before hopping back into district play Tuesday at home against Santa Fe. A home game against Culleoka and a trip to Culleoka round out the regular season schedule for Cornersville before the start of the district tournament and possibly another shot at Columbia Academy.
"That's probably the most runs we've put on Columbia Academy in two or three years," Crabtree said. "I think it shows our girls that we can score. We can hit Shelby (Cummins) and we can play with them. We've just got to string together seven innings instead of three innings.
Columbia Academy 003 004 0-7 8 0
Cornersville 002 000 1-3 11 0
Cornersville: Carson Coble 3-for-4, Emma Mitchell 2-for-3, Mikaela King 2-for-4, Hannah Singleton 1-for-2, Sam Prosser 1-for-3, Madison Hopkins 1-for-3, Madison Spivey 1-for-3.
RS: Mitchel 2, Singleton 1
RBI: Hopkins, King, Coble
SAC: Mitchell, Singleton
FC: Miranda Cooksey
WP: Shelby Cummins
LP: Kirsten Young (5.1IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 3K, 5BB), Mikaela King (1.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2K, 1BB)