RINGGOLD, Ga. - Their offense somewhat lacking, Heritage's Generals turned to pitching, defense and aggressive baserunning to advance in the Georgia AAAA state softball tournament Wednesday.
They eliminated Carrollton 2-0 and 5-0 and will play at home again on Wednesday, hosting the Eastside-Regan winner.
Lauren Lawson pitched both ends of the doubleheader, scattering seven hits in the first game and giving up just five in the second.
"She put us on her back and carried us," Heritage coach Steve Chattin said.
Scoring seven runs over two games was enough but it wasn't exactly satisfying, in part because Carrollton's Katie Jones kept them swinging wildly at a variety of off-speed pitches.
"She kept us off-balance but we pitching well and played good defense, and aggressive baserunning really helped us out again," Chattin said. "I'm proud of the wins and I'm proud of where we're at, but we have to do a better job."
The Generals squeezed across runs in the third and sixth innings, thanks in part to Olivia Tamewitz's 4-for-4 effort. The leadoff hitter also stole three bases.
In the third, she led off with a slap single to left-center and then stole second and came around to score on Katie Pritchett's single.
While the one run would have been enough for Lawson, Heritage got its insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Brooklynn Frazier singled, stole second and scored on Krissi Prewitt's single to left.
Lawson surrendered two hits in the bottom of the first in Game 2 but went untouched from the second through fifth innings. She allowed singles in the sixth and seventh innings to finish with a four-hitter.
Wednesday's wins were the 48th and 49th for the junior, who set a school wins record (47) in the Generals' region championship win over Northwest Whitfield.
"She did so very well, especially when we didn't adjust very well at the plate to what we were seeing," Chattin said.
While they didn't score until the fourth inning -- Pritchett's leadoff double and Frazier's sacrifice fly -- the Generals got Lawson some breathing room with two runs in each of the last two innings including two unearned that came home on a passed ball.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.