With the first game of the 17th Tennessee-Georgia high school all-star doubleheader tied headed to the seventh inning, Dade County catcher Madison Lacy had one thing in mind.
"I just went up there looking to get a hit," Lacy said.
Hoping to reach base so perhaps her courtesy runner could score the tie-breaking run, Lacy got a pitch on the inner-half of the plate and took care of scoring the run herself. Lacy's solo shot down the left-field line lifted the Georgia team to a 2-1 victory.
The second went totally differently with Tennessee winning 12-5. Tennessee now leads 26-8 in the series.
Georgia's first run in the opener also came on a home run when University of Tennessee-Chattanooga-bound Jordyn Hamill from Gordon Lee cleared the fence in left with two out in the fifth. That came off starter Madi Stanley, who had not allowed a hit until the fifth.
A pickoff throw earlier in the inning by Arts & Sciences' catcher Kiara Suttles, who has signed with Southern University, prevented Hamill's homer from making it 2-1. Lacy's home run came off Meigs County reliever Morgan Boggess, who has signed with Austin Peay.
"I thought our two pitchers pitched well," GPS and Tennessee coach Susan Crownover said. "Two good swings was the difference. We made two mistakes, and they hit them well."
Tennessee's run off winning pitcher Madison Gossett, Lacy's high school batterymate and future teammate at Brenau University, came in the first inning. Kennesaw State signee Noelle Winkles from Baylor singled with one out, stole second and scored on a two-out single by another Brenau signee, East Hamilton's Kelsey Payne.
Gossett was chosen most valuable player of the night after pitching a five-hitter and tying an all-star game record with 13 strikeouts.
"Gossett threw great," Heritage and Georgia coach Steve Chattin said. "We chased a lot of curveballs and offspeed pitches, but we got some big hits when we needed them. We're just out here having fun."
For her heroics, Lacy was selected Georgia's player of the night.
"It was good getting to know everybody that I usually played against and didn't really know," Lacy said.
Tennessee's player of the night selection was Soddy-Daisy catcher Savannah Moore, a Tennessee Temple signee. Her three-run double came in the fourth with her team leading 4-3 in the second game and she ended up going 3-for-5.
Among the displays of camraderie afterward, the Brenau signees from both squads posed for a picture together, as did the four GPS players and three Baylor players who were selected to the Tennessee team.
"You know you're having a good time," Crownover said, "when players from rival schools are doing cheers together."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or email@example.com.