RINGGOLD, Ga. — The Chamblee Bulldogs got lost on the way to Heritage, forcing their best-of-three softball series to start 20 minutes late.
It only delayed the inevitable.
The host Generals more than made up the time disparity, sweeping the Bulldogs 15-0 in 2 1/2 innings and 9-1 in five innings to advance to the Georgia Class AAAA round of 16.
They'll play the winner of the series between second-ranked Madison and LaGrange on Wednesday of next week, traveling if Madison wins and hosting if LaGrange wins. Madison is the state's second-ranked team, a notch behind Northwest Whitfield and one spot better than Heritage.
"The first game we did a good job of coming out focused and taking care of business," Heritage coach Steve Chattin said. "We got some nice swings and Laura [Lawson] turned in another good game."
The sophomore pitcher barely had time to get loose, facing just 10 batters and allowing just one hit as she and her teammates pummeled Chamblee starter Kelly Strychalski for 17 hits. They scored 10 in the bottom of the first and added five in the obligatory second inning.
Every position in the batting order scored a run, and seven hitters came up with RBIs. Taylor Moran's 2-for-3, three-RBI game led the way, and Katie Pritchett, Lawson and Kristin West added two RBIs apiece.
The lone Chamblee hit was a single up the middle by L.K. Smith.
The second game, though, had Chattin pacing after the Generals led 2-0 after the first inning and 3-1 following the second. He yanked pitcher Moran after she loaded the bases via walks and then walked in a run. And he addressed the team at least twice between innings.
"It is sometimes hard to maintain your focus in that second game, and we struggled in the circle," he said.
There were only two multihit games from the Generals with Moran stroking a pair of triples, scoring twice and knocking in two runs. Savannah Goldsmith was the other Heritage batter with a pair of hits, and her triple and double accounted for three runs.
Moran and Hanna Wills combined on a no-hitter with eight strikeouts. It was Wills' second pitching performance of the season.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...