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Alcovy tops Comets
Lady Tigers ride defense, pitching to 2-1 win

COVINGTON - The Lady Tigers learned that two out of three isn't bad in their 2-1 win against South Gwinnett on Wednesday.

"I told the girls there are two things we're going to do good today," Alcovy head coach Casey Bates said. "We're going to play good defense, which we did, and we're going to pitch good, which we did, and the hitting will come through. If they do two of the three things, we'll win a lot of ball games."

The defense was solid as Alcovy made the necessary plays to keep the Lady Comets from scoring.

In the circle, Dallas Hardin pitched a good game, striking out nine batters while allowing two walks and four hits.

"Dallas went in there and just slammed the door on them," Bates said.

The one aspect of the Alcovy's game that was not running well was hitting.

The Lady Tigers had four hits and left nine runners stranded, including six in scoring position.

"It's not a concern when the pitcher goes in there and does what she's suppose to do," Bates said. "Is it something we want to fix? Yes."

The one true hitter the Lady Tigers could count on was Summer Kusch, who paced Alcovy with two hits including an RBI double for the winning run in the fifth inning.

"Summer Kusch, I don't know where she came from today. I think she ate her Wheaties," Bates said. "She almost hit it over the fence. She hit it foul, I don't know where that power came from. She's moving up in the lineup. She's putting some power behind the ball right now."

Alcovy's other two hits were from Johnna Bagely and Hardin.

Hardin scored the Lady Tigers' first run in the bottom of the first inning off a Bagley single.

With two outs and the score tied 1-1 in the home half of the fifth, Bagley was able to reach first base after she hit a ball off pitcher Rachel Ludick's foot. South Gwinnett first baseman Heather Smith was unable to control the ball, allowing Bagley to stay on the bag.

Kusch brought her home with a double to the fence for the game-winning run.

South Gwinnett had a chance to tie the game in the top of the sixth as the Lady Comets' Britney Warren reached third base with one out.

However, Hardin was able to get a big strikeout before Amber Melton threw the next batter out at first to end the threat.

"Anytime we have a runner on third base, I tell my catcher (Andrea Melton) to put her body in front of the ball, don't give a free run," Bates said. "That's pretty much what she did."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.