Rhett Parrott wasn't sure what to expect from his softball team after it lost five of six games in a recent stretch, but four consecutive wins over the last two weeks have have been all the answer the Coahulla Creek coach could want.
The latest win, a 7-6 nail-niter Thursday night at perennial power Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, might just be the catalyst for the Colts (7-5, 4-1) to get into the conversation when playoffs are mentioned.
Parrott doesn't want to get that far ahead for his second-year team.
"We're not satisfied just coming out and playing softball. We want to win," he said. "The playoffs are ultimately the goal, but with such a young team we've got to take it -- though I know it's cliche -- one game at a time."
Coahulla Creek jumped to a 3-0 lead on three hits and an LFO error, and the score was 3-2 entering the fifth when Ally Thompson had a two-out, two-run single and Lasha Hedden followed with an RBI single for a 6-2 lead.
The margin was 6-3 when Kayla Banks' single drove in Shelbie Dilbeck with a one-out single in the seventh, the last of 10 hits for the Colts, and it proved to be a big one. The Lady Warriors (3-7, 3-2) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, which included Courtney Crawford's fourth hit of the game and an RBI single from Chyanne Burns.
However, with the tying run on base, sophomore pitcher Dilbeck got Savannah Franklin to fly out to end the game.
"When they scored their last run I calmed myself down and told myself we had this, so I just concentrated on getting that last out," said Dilbeck, who scored three runs. "It's a big win for us. We started out pretty rough this year, but we're on a nice streak."
Though Parrott doesn't want to look ahead, he realizes Thursday's win will raise some eyebrows.
"This is always a tough team, and they play hard and they're always fundamentally sound," Parrott said of LFO. "This is a big step for us. We came out very aggressive and swung the bats and getting that run in the seventh was big.
"That's a thing we've really talked to them about — finishing ballgames. We had some earlier this year we didn't finish, but they've made a nice adjustment."
Haley Reece, Thompson and Kayla Banks had two hits each for the winners, while Burns and Maryann Morgan each had two for LFO and Madison Lewis drove in two runs.
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 ...