MOULTRIE – The Colquitt County softball team appears unintimidated by the uncharted waters it is navigating early in the 2019 season.
Coach Chance Pitts says no other Lady Packer team has started the season 3-0, much less posted a 9-0 record, a mark his girls have after sweeping all four of their games in South Paulding High’s Buccaneer Bash over the last two days.
“It’s been great,” Pitts said of his team’s auspicious start to the season. “It’s been fun.”
It helps that the team has seven players batting over .300. And that its top three pitchers have ERAs of 1.34 (Emily Allegood), 1.85 (Kyla Morris) and 2.77 (Jade Horne).
But if there were still suspicions about the team, many might have been put to rest when the Lady Packers scored five runs in the first inning on Saturday against undefeated South Paulding and went on to win 9-4.
A Lady Packer team has never returned south from an Atlanta-area trip with an unblemished record.
“South Paulding scored three runs in the bottom of the first, but Emily settled down and we started playing like we had the first seven games.”
Allegood is now 4-0 in the circle after the win over South Paulding. She benefited from a 12-hit barrage that she contributed a pair of singles to. Abby Plymel, Marlie Wingate and Chloe Gould also chipped in two hits. Abeny Thomas, Katlynn Powers, Kelsey Patel and Madison Plymel had the others.
Each Plymel had a double, as did Powers, Patel and Gould. Patel drove in four runs.
The Lady Packers continue to pound the softball in their second game on Saturday, a 14-2 run-rule victory over Union Grove.
Wingate had a game to remember with a two-run homer and a grand slam to lead a 16-hit effort.
Powers and Abby Plymel each had three hits; Thomas and Allegood also had two hits; and Sarah Harrell, Madison Plymel and Patel each had one hit.
Jade Horne had only to pitch four innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out five, to raise her record to 3-0.
In addition to the offensive fireworks, Pitts said Abby Plymel turned in a pair of “highlight reel” defensive plays.
The Lady Packers got outstanding relief pitching in winning their first two games in the Bash on Friday.
In the 5-4 first game victory over East Paulding, Kyla Morris got the final two outs in the bottom of the last inning to save the win for Colquitt County starter Jade Horne.
The Lady Packers jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, but had to hold on as the Raiders scored a run in the bottom of the second and added three more in the bottom of the fifth.
Horne went the first 5.1 innings, giving up four runs, only three of which were earned, 11 hits and a walk. She struck out one. With the win, she raises her record to 2-0.
Morris allowed just one batter to reach on a walk, but slammed the door.
Abby Plymel, Allegood and Patel each had two hits for the Lady Packers, who took advantage of four East Paulding errors.
Harrell and Callie Faircloth each had one hit.
The Colquitt girls had a bit more leeway in their second game on Friday, a 6-3 win over Altoona.
The Lady Packers scored four times in the bottom of the third. Morris, who started the game, held the Buccaneers scoreless until the sixth.
But after Altoona scored three times in the top of the inning to pull to within one, the Lady Packers scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to lead 6-3.
Horne, who got the final out in the top of the sixth, pitched a scoreless top of the seventh to return the favor and save the win for Morris.
Morris gave up six hits and only one earned run over her 5.2 innings of work. She struck out two and did not walk a batter while raising her record to 2-0.
Horne did not give up a hit, walked just one and got a strike out to close out the Lady Packers seventh straight win to open the season.
Colquitt had five extra base hits, including home runs by Harrell and Madison Plymel, the first of the season for both girls.
Madison Plymel also had a double. Powers also had a double and Abby Plymel had a double among her three hits.
Thomas, Allegood, Patel and Maggie Rae Parker also had base hits.
Harrell and Madison Plymel each drove in two runs. Abby Plymel and Powers also had RBIs.
The Colquitt girls will travel to Adel to play Cook High on Tuesday and will be back at Lady Packer Park on Thursday for a Region 1-7A doubleheader against Lowndes.
Pitts said it has not been determined when the second game of last week’s region doubleheader against Camden County, which was not started because of weather, will be made up.