CONYERS - First game jitters hit the Lady Bulldogs hard as they had a hard time connecting with the ball on offense and missed a few routine defensive plays in their 4-0 loss to Class AAAA No. 10 ranked team Apalachee.
Offensively, Rockdale had four hits with sophomore Katelyn Baker getting two of them.
"She's only a sophomore and started varsity last year. She has some experience under her belt and isn't scared of anything," Rockdale head coach Holly Hamilton said.
Much of the reason the Lady Bulldogs had so few hits was due to senior Lady Wildcats pitcher Courtney Gumby.
In seven innings of work, Gunby fanned 19 batters while hitting one batsman.
"We have her half of them. I think we stood there watching a good bit of those and it's something I don't see our team doing as the season goes on," Hamilton said. "We were hesitant at the plate. We watched a lot of strikes. They have a good pitcher but I definitely think we weren't ready to step up to the plate and hit the ball."
The Lady Wildcats scored in the top of the first inning on a bad throw while trying to catch Kristen Clack heading to third.
Their second run, in the third inning, scored after Shawnee Patterson reached third base from first on a simple bunt. The bag was left unmanned allowing Patterson the double steal.
"We have some young girls that have never played varsity. We're going to work through the kinks," Hamilton said.
Gunby helped her cause with an RBI single to give Apalachee a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Wildcats' third run came in the fifth off an RBI triple by Mendy Henson before Gunby closed out the scoring in the seventh with an inside-the-park homer.
Ashley Goley, Clack, Gunby, Patterson paced the Lady Wildcats with two hits each.
The other Rockdale players to get a hit off Gunby were Katie Ferrell and Kaitlin Overstreet.
While in the circle for Rockdale, Ferrell had three strikeouts while walking one and allowing 11 hits.
The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action today at 5 p.m. against Southwest DeKalb at Earl O'Neal Park.
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.