Lady Patriots Battle Weather, Go 3-0 at Gilmer

The Lady Patriots softball team traveled to Gilmer County on Saturday, April 1, to finally get in some softball action.
The Lady Patriots would open up with a strong Braxton County squad. Braxton County would jump out to a 2-0 first inning lead but the Lady Patriots would plate 5 runs in the bottom of the first and never look back and roll to a 8-6 win.
Abby Hartley was the winning pitcher and only gave up 2 hits and struck out 9 batters. “The 5th inning the rains came and the footing got tricky and Abby gave up a few walks but battled hard and finished the game,” stated a joyous Coach Pratt.
“We finally got a game in after the first couple of games got rained out.”
Emma Cayton had 2 doubles and Morgan Riffle added 2 hits in the win. Ella McDougal, Olivia Krinov, Tatum Conner and Brooke Butcher chipped in a hit each.
“We were over anxious and trying too hard, but it was a great opening day victory,” Pratt said.
The Lady Patriots would take on Clay County in the second leg of their triple header.
Ella McDougal took the mound in her first ever pitching game at the middle school level.
The Lady Patriots found their bats and rolled to a 12-0 victory and Ella took care of the rest as she pitched a no-hitter and gave up 1 walk. Olivia Krinov smacked 3 hits followed by Ella McDougal and Abby Hartley with
2 hits each.
Morgan Riffle, Emma Cayton and Brooke Butcher added singles and Tatum Conner added a booming triple. One of Abby Hartley’s hits was a triple to go with her 5 RBIS.
The stage was set as the Lady Patriots had little time to celebrate as they had to take on a fast and talented Summersville team and was played on astro turf to boot. Summersville would jump out to a 2-0 lead but the Lady Patriots would settle down and take a 5-2 lead into the 3rd thanks to the timely hitting by Abby
Summersville would respond with 3 runs in the 4th to tie the game at 5-5. The Lady Patriots thought they took the lead in the bottom of the 4th but Brooke Butcher was called out at the plate in a close call. Summersville would have a girl on third with one out and two of their best hitters coming up.
“Abby pitched a great game but the rains again arrived and I decided to throw some change up at their best hitters,” Pratt said.
Abby threw some beauties and forced a pop up to 2nd and 3rd to shut the Summersville rally down.
The stage was set for the thrilling finish. Morgan Riffle led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Coach Hartley called for Morgan to steal second as Summersville went to sleep. Abby Hartley laid down a bunt to move Morgan to third.
We called for a bunt and run with Tatum Conner at the plate and she laid down a bunt to pitcher and Morgan Riffle took off on the throw to first and slid under the throw back home for a thrilling 6-5 victory.
Brooke Butcher had 2 hits and Ella McDougal and Emma Cayton added a hit each. Abby Hartley pitched a masterful game giving up only 2 hits to gain the victory and the Lady Patriots were 3-0.
When the mud settled Coach Hartley and I were so proud of these young ladies as we battled the elements and the jitters but never gave up to start the season at 3-0. It was a great day of Lady Patriots softball.

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