Tigerettes off to 2-0 start after outlasting Columbia Academy

Friday, March 16, 2018
MCHS right fielder Naomi Hopper squares around to execute a slap base hit for one of her two safeties in the Tigerettes’ 2-1 win over Columbia Academy Tuesday night at Lewisburg.
Photos by Anthony S. Puca

After stomping Richland 10-0 in their season opener at home on Monday, the Marshall County Tigerettes entertained Columbia Academy Tuesday night at Lewisburg and came away with a grind-it-out 2-1 win over the Lady Bulldogs.

Columbia Academy had beaten the Tigerettes the previous four times the two teams met with Marshall County’s last win over the Lady Bulldogs coming via a 1-0 win in 2006, which was also the last time Lewisburg made a state tournament appearance.

“It was a big win,” MCHS first-year head coach Wes Woods said. “CA is a very quality team and it was good to see good pitching and try to score some runs and do sometimes what it takes to win.”

The Tigerettes won their only Class AA state title in the 2005-2006 season under coach Reese Hambrick.

Freshman Claire Woods tossed a complete game in the circle to pick up the win for MCHS.

Freshman Claire Woods was strong in the circle for the Tigerettes on the field named in honor of Hambrick on Tuesday, tossing a complete game three-hitter with one base on balls and seven strikeouts.

“She (Claire Woods) did a good job, but we did a good job behind the plate and backing her up in the field,” Woods said about his daughter’s performance in the circle. “She’s a piece and we have a lot of good pieces.”

Naomi Hopper led the Tigerettes at the dish, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and three stolen bases in the contest, while Savannah Wooten (2B, BB), Hannah Davis (RS, SB), and Alli Hobbs all had one hit apiece for MCHS.

Marshall County had a chance to score in the bottom of the first inning, but left two runners stranded in scoring position with one out.

“I’d like to do a better job in some situations of hitting behind runners and getting runners home and just having team at bats because we missed a few opportunities to get a few more runs,” Woods said. “It’s good to see a quality pitcher like that and those opportunities are big in big games and you have to make the most of your opportunities.”

Columbia Academy scored its lone run in the game in the top of the second inning as Mary Grace Golden singled to right field, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Baylee Thornton, and scored on an RBI double by Karley Harakas before Woods retired the next two CA batters to escape any further damage.

The Tigerettes left two more runners on base on the bottom of the third inning.

Thornton slashed a two-out single in the top of the fourth inning before Woods struck out Harakas to squash the threat.

Hannah Davis led off the home half of the inning with a single to left field and promptly stole second base and the MCHS backstop went to third on a perfectly placed slap single in the five/six hole by Hopper to put Tigerette runners on the corners with no outs.

Hopper swiped second before Hannah Sheppard lined out to short for the first out.

Alli Hobbs came to the dish and laid down a perfect bunt that CA had no play on and the bases were jammed full of Tigerettes.

Katherine Donahue ties the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning with a fielder’s choice RBI.

Davis came home to score when Donahue grounded out to second base, tying the game and Hopper scored the go-ahead run one batter later when Leah Hollingsworth reached on a Columbia Academy error.

“I kept telling them we were gonna score, I didn’t think they were going to hold us down forever,” Woods said. “We did enough and we did the job.”

Woods dominated in the circle the rest of the way, allowing just one base runner on a walk and striking out four CA batters over the last three innings to seal the win.

Tigerette second baseman Savannah Wooten guns down a Columbia Academy runner in the first inning.

The Tigerettes face some tough challenges this weekend at the Firehouse Subs Classic at Bobby Brewer Park in Lawrenceburg.

Marshall County opens up the tournament today at 4:30 p.m. versus the Alabama 7A state champions Buckhorn Lady Bucs and the Tigerettes play Loretto on Saturday at 4:05 p.m.

“We will play the Alabama state champions on Friday and Loretto on Saturday and then look, we have the district games who are Forrest and Giles and Nolensville and Central Magnet and all those guys will be ready to play too,” Woods said. “

Columbia Academy 010 000 0-1 2 1

Marshall County 000 200 X-2 5 1

Columbia Academy: Mary Grace Golden 1-for-2, Baylee Thornton 1-for-1, Karley Harakas 1-for-3.

RS: Golden.

RBI: Harakas.

2B: Harakas.

SAC: Thornton 2.

ROE: Abbigail Adkins.

Team LOB: 4

Fielding

E: Harakas, Kaylee Ray.

DP: Journey Mitchell.

LP: Journey Mitchell (6IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4K).

Marshall County: Naomi Hopper 2-for-3, Savannah Wooten 1-for-1, Hannah Davis 1-for-3, Alli Hobbs 1-for-3.

RS: Davis, Hopper.

RBI: Katherine Donahue.

BB: Wooten, Solomon.

ROE: Leah Hollingsworth, Solomon.

SB: Hopper 3, Hollingsworth, Solomon, Davis.

Totals

Team LOB: 6

Fielding

E: Wooten.

WP: Claire Woods (7IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 7K)