COVINGTON -- A slow start by Alcovy and solid defensive play by the Lady Rams kept the game close for three innings. But a fatigued Newton was the spark the Lady Tigers needed to get them rolling in their six-inning, 9-1 win on Tuesday.
"One of the biggest things I've told them all year is that they have to have endurance; they have to have stamina," Newton head coach Virginia Waters said. "They have to be able to push through even though they're tired or sore."
Alcovy crossed first, taking a 1-0 lead in the home half of the inning when Lakeiyah Sorrells scored on a Chelsea Murphy double. The Lady Tigers did not enjoy the lead for long as Newton's Marie Diaz tied the game in the top of the second inning.
Both teams had the opportunity to add to their score but were unable to get the clutch hits needed, leaving runners stranded through the first three innings.
"We have to figure out why we're getting off to a slow start and try to correct it before Thursday. We have Morrow on Thursday and a tournament on the weekend so we can't get off to slow starts," Alcovy head coach Monica Marks said. "We can't wait to turn it on. We have to turn it on before the game starts."But everything changed in the bottom of the fourth as the Lady Rams gave up a hit and walked two batters to load the bases. There was no doubt that fatigue was affecting the pitcher as many of her pitches were hitting the ground. Alcovy jumped out to a 4-1 lead on a base-clearing single by Murphy and aggressive base running."We want to be aggressive on the basepaths and if they're going to give us that extra base, we're going to take it," Marks said.
Alcovy added more pressure to the Lady Rams, scoring three more runs in the fifth inning before ending the game by mercy rule with two runs in the sixth.
"At the start of the fourth inning it was 1-1 and they were playing a great ball game. We played great defense, our pitcher was hitting her spots and we were hitting," Waters said. "At some point in time we have to learn to stop the bleeding.
"We'll see them again in region and hopefully we'll play a perfect seven innings instead of just four."
Murphy paced Alcovy at the plate going 3-for-4 with a double. Also getting an extra base hit was Morgan Mobley who had a double and a triple.
Diaz, who had a double, and T'Keyuh Williams were Newton's top hitters with two hits each.
Getting the win was freshman Kalia Johnson. In six innings of work, Johnson gave up six hits while walking one batter, hitting one and striking out six.