Head coach Chris Edge nearly needed some after watching another starter succumb to injury before Thursday afternoon’s game at Dalton.
Freshman Allyson Hill, one of the team’s leading hitters and number two pitcher, pulled a groin muscle during warm-ups, giving Edge cause for another upset stomach.
“I was freaking out,” Edge explained. “Hopefully, it won’t be too bad. She said it loosened up and felt a lot better during the game.”
Things got no better for Edge as he quickly saw his team fall behind 1-0 in the first inning on a Carrie Anderson single for Dalton.
However, as they proved at the Cherokee Tournament, this Ridgeland team can pull together and rally with the best of them. The Lady Panthers managed to tie the game in the third on a Sherry Hicks RBI-single and went on to a big 4-1 victory.
Ridgeland (12-5, 2-1) took the lead for good in the fourth. Three straight singles loaded the bases with one out when Edge called on India Turner, still bothered with a tender hamstring, to pinch-hit.
Just as she did against LFO, the all-state third baseman, lined a gapper to right-center off Dalton starter Megan Foley to give the Lady Panthers a 3-1 lead.
Ridgeland got an insurance run in the seventh. After Erica Holmes singled and was bunted to second by Lauren Hawkins, Turner re-entered the game to pinch-hit again and delivered a run-scoring single to left-center.
It would be more than enough runs for Holmes. She gave up just five hits and fanned two to pick up the win. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate. The loss evened Dalton’s record at 8-8 overall and kept the Lady Cats winless in the region at 0-3.
Foley was saddled with the loss for Dalton, giving up seven hits, striking out four and walking one. The two runs in the fourth inning ended her string of 42 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a earned run.
Ridgeland faces tough tests this week, hosting Ringgold on Tuesday, then hosting Southeast Whitfield on Thursday. Game time for both days is 5 p.m.
Joseph Myers of the Dalton Daily-Citizen assisted with this story