MOULTRIE – Lowndes High had a choke-hold on Region 1-7A softball since it seems like the schools started playing fast-pitch (which is well before there was a 7A classification). Two teams already gained measures towards changing that in the 2019 season, and one of those took a significant step towards taking over the reins Thursday.
With a No. 7 state ranking in tow, Colquitt County High softball improved to 11-0 Thursday with that rare of rare occurrences: victories over the Lowndes High Vikettes. It hasn’t happened since the 2015 season, and it comes one week after Tift County High (also ending a four-year drought vs. this one program) split a doubleheader in region with the Vikettes in Valdosta.
Emily Allegood pitched seven complete innings and Katlynn Powers homered in Colquitt’s 4-1 Game 1 win at Packer Park. Allegood started Game 2 and Jade Horne closed the sweep retiring every batter she faced. A five-run second-inning by Colquitt held in a 7-4 triumph.
While Lowndes was missing a lot of firepower from the past few seasons, the results through three innings looked same as always. Jolee Camp retired the first nine Packers she saw with two strikeouts.
But what was different was the Vikette run production. Allegood, a freshman, also did not allow a hit (one hit batter) through three complete.
It would be a familiar name providing the first bit of offense as Lowndes’ Tori Hedgecock hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the fourth.
But with one down in the bottom half, Powers went deep to centerfield. Colquitt County wasn’t done, for Abby Plymel belted the first of two deep doubles and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Allegood put the ball in play, and Plymel scored the go-ahead run beating a tag at home plate.
From the circle, Allegood allowed just one more hit to Madison VanAllen, and that was after Hedgecock’s long ball. Lowndes had two runners on that inning but Allegood fanned Randall Farnam on a check-swing.
Plymel’s second double led off the bottom of the sixth. With two down, Lowndes’ second pitcher, Joiner Merritt, hit Sarah Harrell. Shortstop Kelsey Patel then ripped a double to left scoring both Packer runs.
Allegood recorded nine strikeouts and got Hedgecock to pop out in the infield in her last at-bat in the sixth. That was part of 10 straight retired to end the game.
Allegood found herself laboring through innings a bit more in the nightcap, but Lowndes never had a multiple-run inning on offense. Two of the four runs she allowed were unearned, including one that touched home in the top of the first.
Lowndes went up 2-0 in the second as Lexi Metts doubled and scored on Jaylin Johnson’s two-out single. This turn ended when catcher Madison Plymel, who was behind the plate every inning Thursday, threw out Johnson trying to steal.
But the game turned around as Colquitt batted around in the home second, and the Vikette infield was very helpful with its struggles to hold on to the softball.
Marlie Wingate reached from a bobbled ball, as did Chloe Gould. There were two outs when M. Plymel put a ball in play where the shortstop had no play.
With the score 2-1, Abeny Thomas singled by the third-base glove, and that ball was misplayed in the outfield scoring three runs. Colquitt went up 4-2, and the left-handed hitting Powers singled to right. Thomas beat the tag play at home for 5-2 Packers.
Lowndes scored one from a Hedgecock double to right in the top of the third, but Thomas at second base go to a tough grounder for the last out.
The Vikettes then pulled within one in the fifth by loading the bases. There was one out and coach Chance Pitts made the move to Horne at pitcher. She just let the single run score while getting the last two outs. Allegood allowed six hits in this outing with three walks and four strikeouts.
Colquitt answered with a two-run home fifth that had three Vikette miscues. Abby Plymel reached base and scored with one out, and Allegood kept the rally going with a hit.
Horne was perfect pitching the last two frames fanning two.
The win put Colquitt at 3-0 in 1-7A, and Pitts announced this week that the make-up game from last week’s doubleheader vs. Camden County will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 28 at Packer Park.