COLUMBUS, Ga. -- It's been a while since Gordon Lee last tasted defeat in Columbus -- three years to be exact -- but that run of two consecutive state championships didn't lessen the bitter taste following Thursday's shocker.
The Lady Trojans (29-4), after winning 8-0 in their opener in the Class A public school championship Thursday, fell 2-1 to Georgia Military College Prep. Gordon Lee was held to two hits by two GMC pitchers, and the Lady Trojans also made a key error and couldn't take advantage of six walks.
"We gave ourselves a chance, but we've got to produce," said Gordon Lee coach Dana Mull, whose team will have to fight its way out of the losers bracket beginning today at 1. "Those two pitchers were better than we've seen in three weeks, but we hit the second one pretty hard, but right at people."
The Lady Trojans' best chance came in the fourth inning when GMC starter Dixie Raley issued three consecutive two-out walks. Tiffany Holland worked her to a 3-1 count, but Raley threw two consecutive strikes to end the threat.
Kalei Kimbrell, who earlier struck out 17 Baconton Charter batters, allowed only a two hits in the loss.
Also having to fight back in the losers bracket will be Ringgold in Class AAA. The Lady Tigers lost 4-0 to Pike County.
Ringgold, ranked second in Class AAA entering the tournament, fell victim to Pike County pitcher Jamie Daniels and her knee-buckling collection of off-speed pitches. Daniels refused to give Ringgold batters anything over the plate and had them shaking their heads repeatedly heading to the dugout in the three-hit, 10-strikeout performance.
Ringgold coach Rachel Hodge, who played on a Lady Tigers team that lost its first game and made it all the way, hopes history repeats.
"We can do it, but we've got to want it bad enough," she said. "We've got a lot of work to do."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...