The score was tied at 3-all entering the extra inning, and with the international tiebreaker rule, North Cobb’s Tori Douglas was placed on second to start the eighth, courtesy running for Katlyn Tinsley. Douglas moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out throwing error to put North Cobb in front 4-3.
South Cobb’s Asia Moore was placed on second to begin the bottom of the eighth, and Keyjuana Crymes was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs.
A sacrifice bunt advanced each runner one base, and a fielding error on the next at-bat allowed Moore to score the tying run, and pushed Crymes to third. Aliyah Lebouf then struck out, but North Cobb catcher Kayla Trumbull was unable to hold onto the ball. Trumbull then threw the ball to Meagan Anderson at first base, but the low throw bounced off Anderson’s glove, allowing Crymes to score the game-winning run.
“We didn’t play as well as we could have, but we played hard,” South Cobb coach Mark Collins said. “Our big hitters didn’t hit, and their pitchers did a great job and made it difficult for us. But we battled back and put the ball in play.”
Several South Cobb players made key plays in helping the Lady Eagles win, including center fielder Crymes, who chased down a few line drives for outs, and shortstop Moore, who threw out a runner at first base from her knees in the sixth.
Brittany Rhodes gave up four unearned runs on six hits and struck out two in eight innings to get the victory for South Cobb (7-2, 1-0). Rhodes stranded runners in scoring position in six of the eight innings she pitched. She left the bases loaded in the fourth.
“The key for us is good pitching. She just doesn’t get fazed out there,” Collins said of Rhodes. “We made some mistakes early and gave them a couple of runs, but our infield improved and showed some life, and the outfield made the plays they had to as well.
“This was a region game, and every one of them is huge because seeding in our region is a huge factor. This game could have gone either way.”
Joy Lowery and Rachel Bartoe reached first off errors and came around to give North Cobb (1-1, 0-1) a 2-0 first-inning lead.
South Cobb’s Bre Hubbert doubled to start the bottom of the third and scored on Emily Cargle’s double. Two batters later, Becky Collins reached on a two-out fielding error that plated Cargle from third to knot the contest at 2-all. In attempting to get Cargle out at the plate, Collins reached third and then scored on a wild pitch to put the Lady Eagles in front 3-2.
North Cobb tied the score in the fifth. Jordan Lewis, who batted 3-for-4, led off with a single. Pinch-runner Akilah Alwan, in for Lewis, moved to second on a passed ball, reached third on a flyout to center and scored on Tinsley’s fielder’s choice.
North Cobb pitcher Olivia Mould allowed three runs — one earned — off three hits and struck out three in three innings, while reliever Tinsley gave up two unearned runs and struck out four over five innings.
“We need to get better hitting in the clutch,” North Cobb coach Jo Beth Weaver said. “I’m happy with our pitching. We’ve given up only three runs in regulation in our two games, but to win games, we have to hit the ball better, and I know we’ll get better at that. This one loss will not determine our season.”