COLUMBUS, GA-- The first game at the Little League state tournament for the Dudley softball all-stars saw the girls pull out a 5-2 win overBartow County. The victory assures Dudley of advancing to the semifinal round on Tuesday.
After a scoreless first inning, Dudley plated three runs in the second. A grounder down the first baseline by Caleigh Haskins scored Whittney Perry and Charlie-Bass Wages as the Bartow County catcher made an errant throw to first base. Haskins scored as Hailey Sapp hit a hard grounder past the Bartow infield.
Ariel Edenfield pitched the first two innings for Dudley, striking out three and allowing one unearned run. Dudley started off the third inning with hits by Karson Smith and Miranda Thigpen. Smith stole second base and scored on Thigpen's hit. Thigpen scored later in the inning to extend the Dudley lead to 5-1.
Thigpen took over on the mound in the third inning. Bartow County scored a run in the third without getting a ball out of the infield, cutting the Dudley lead to 5-2. Thigpen retired the side in the fourth inning.
Taylor Cobb pitched the final two innings for Dudley. Despite taking a line drive to the bicep, Cobb struck out two and preserved the 5-2 victory. Kendall Morton, Cobb, and Wages also provided hits for Dudley.
"This wasn't our best game, but we were able to keep Edenfield, Thigpen, and Cobb available by allowing each to pitch only two innings. This win was important because it guarantees us of advancing beyond pool play regardless of the outcome of our next game," said manager Lance Smith.
Dudley plays Toccoa Monday at 7:30. This matchup will determine seeding for the single elimination games that will begin on Tuesday.