The victory marked the first time in 10 years that the Lady Warriors won their own event. North Cobb had been runner-up four times, and the competition level of the Warrior Classic has included some of the best in the state, with at least seven state champions having participated over the years.
“It’s been hard to win it,” North Cobb coach Jo Beth Weaver said. “This year, we were able to win using a complete offensive and defensive performance. No part of our game was subpar. We played exceptional through all five games.”
North Cobb defeated Bryan County 12-4, Lakeside-DeKalb 12-0 and Riverwood 12-0 in pool play before topping North Paulding 10-2 in the pool semifinals to reach the championship game.
In the final, the Lady Warriors exploded for six runs in the top of the seventh inning off four hits and four errors.
Olivia Mould retired the side in the bottom half of the frame to pick up the complete-game victory. She went 3-0 for the tournament and issued only two hits, struck out two and walked one in the finale.
Mould, who only threw 64 pitches in the championship, was named to the all-tournament team.
“Our pitchers didn’t give up a lot of walks, and that’s a key for us,” Weaver said. “We didn’t put a lot of runners on base. Katlyn Tinsley and Emily Kiser got our other wins for us, and all three of them pitched well for us this weekend.”
North Cobb scored twice in the second, once in the third and once in the fourth before its six-run seventh. The entire lineup contributed to the victory.
Ericka Clifford batted 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Kayla Trumbull was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Iman Muhammed was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored, while Taylor Krause doubled in three at-bats and scored twice. Jordan Lewis batted 1-for-2 with two runs scored and walked three times. Casey Page had two singles in five at-bats, while Bryanna Vasquez added a run.
Pinch-runner Hannah Ross also scored, while Tinsley contributed a RBI groundout in the second. Sarah Merced came home in the seventh to give North Cobb an 8-0 lead with two outs.
“We hit the ball well, 1 through 9 (in the championship),” Weaver said. “Our baserunning put us in good scoring position almost every inning, and the girls made plays.
“We’ve had some really focused practices recently, and I think that’s made a difference.”
Mould and the Lady Warriors’ defense also made a difference. She induced 12 groundouts, three pop flies and three fly balls in the outfield. Vasquez made a diving stop in the fourth at third and was behind five of the groundouts. Shortstop Clifford was also a part of five groundouts.
Cambridge left four runners on base, and only one reached second.
Merced also made the all-tournament team, while Vasquez was named the most outstanding player.
“These girls are solid and they know they can play to win,” Weaver said. “They’re feeling pretty good right now. Their confidence is up after winning this and the Softball in the Sand tournament in Brunswick. They’re such a team, and they’re a fun group.”