It didn’t matter who pitched or where the ball was thrown, Grayson put the ball in play.
The Lady Rams blanked South Forsyth 8-0 in a five-inning mercy-rule shortened Game 1 before invoking another five-inning mercy rule in Game 2 with a 9-1 score in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Wednesday at War Eagle Field. The loss eliminates South.
The Lady War Eagles (20-16) couldn’t avoid a big inning. Grayson (20-13) tallied six runs in the second inning of Game 2 and five runs in the third inning of Game 1 and combined for four home runs in the sweep.
“They hit the ball, bottom line,” South head coach Ronnie Davis said. “We didn’t have an answer for what they could do offensively. You’ve got to give them all the credit in the world. They came out and we couldn’t — they’re just a good hitting team. We fought and we did what we could and it just wasn’t enough tonight.”
Grayson had little trouble in Game 2 against South. Bre Ethridge started the scoring in the first inning with a two-run home run before a sharply hit grounder to the shortstop allowed two more runs to cross in the second inning. The Lady Rams continued the inning with a sacrifice fly and Peyton Glover smashed a three-run home run for an early 8-0 lead.
South tried to rally with an RBI single up the middle from Meghan Rud that scored Sophia Tapia (2-for-2), but that was all the Lady War Eagles managed.
Stephanie Snyder tacked on a home run to left field to make the final score 9-1.
“We all played hard and we all tried our best,” Rud said. “We just couldn’t come out with the win. We were hitting our spots, but they were just took the pitch where it was pitched. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; they’re just a team of good hitters.”
Ethridge was just as lethal in the circle for Grayson in Game 1. She scattered four hits and struck out three batters in the complete-game shutout.
Snyder blasted a three-run home run in the third inning to give Grayson a 4-0 lead after Ethridge’s RBI single in the first. Amanda Kemp knocked in a run, while Caroline Sandhagen chipped in with an RBI groundout to put Grayson ahead 6-0. Carley Batchelor crossed the plate on an error in the fourth inning before Glover pushed across a run to make the final score 8-0.
South’s Natalie Strandquist led the team with two hits.
“…I think they’ve learned a lot of things about themselves. I think they’ve gotten better as the season’s gone on and just every team is different that you have. Some teams are more experienced than some teams, but the bottom line is you’re looking for kids to grow as players and as people and we definitely — our kids have grown up a lot this year. …The young kids have learned what this program is about and things look good for the future.”