In defeating Coffee High 7-2 on Tuesday in its home-opener, the Colquitt County softball team got its second straight strong pitching performance to start the season.
The difference for the Packers from their 6-1 win at Bainbridge, in which Emily Allegood allowed just two hits and the one run, was that the offense got involved in front of the home fans.
The Lady Packers pounded out 10 hits and had at least one in all but one inning to back the strong effort of starting pitcher Jade Horne. Colquitt had just three hits in scoring its six runs against Bainbridge.
Horne gave up seven hits, but retired 13 of the final 15 batters she faced to help the Lady Packers get off to a 2-0 start as they prepare to travel to Worth County on Thursday.
“I can’t remember the last time Lady Packers softball started 2-0,” Colquitt County coach Chance Pitts said.
The big hit for the Lady Packers was a bases-loaded triple by Marlie Wingate that broke a 2-2 tie in a five-run third inning.
“She’s had a good week of practice and it was just a matter of time before she broke loose,” Pitts said. “She’s got such a good swing.”
Katlynn Powers doubled home Abeny Thomas for the final Colquitt County run in the bottom of the sixth.
Horne did not start particularly well, giving up back-to-back doubles to Madison Strickland and Kelsey Tift to open the game, but she retired the next seven Trojans in a row before giving up another run on a single by Kali Williams with two outs in the third.
She surrendered only a two-out single to Taft in fifth and a one-out double by Emily Elisis in the seventh before getting two ground-outs to end the game.
Horne struck out five and did not walk a batter.
“You always know what you’re going to get with Jade in the circle,” Pitts said. “She throws strikes. And when you live in the zone like she does, good things happen, especially with the defense we have.”
The game was the second in a row in which the Packers were not charged with an error.
Thomas got a bloop single for the Packers on the first pitch in the bottom of the first and Allegood singled her home to tie the game.
After Coffee got the lead in the top of the third, Colquitt sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Powers and Abby Plymel singled off Strickland to open the inning and Allegood followed with her second straight run-scoring base hit.
After Kelsey Patel walked to load the bases, Wingate lined the first pitch she saw to the fence in center, driving in all three runners and streaking to third.
She scored the fifth run of the inning on a ground out by Brooke Durrence.
Thomas, Powers, Plymel and Allegood – the top four batters in the Colquitt County batting order – combined to go 8-for-14 and score six runs.
Coffee, which fell to Tift County on Monday, dropped to 1-4.