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Rockdale softball goes winless in season-opening tournament

It was a rough first two days of the season for the Rockdale softball team. The pitching staff allowed 65 runs as the Bulldogs lost all five games in the South Gwinnett Tournament this past weekend.

Rockdale, which is coming off a state second round appearance a year ago, will try to pick up its first victory when it travels to rival Salem tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The tournament began with losses to Shiloh (10-2) and Monroe Area (13-4) Friday, before Rockdale went 0-3 Saturday. In a match up of Class AAAAAA sweet 16 teams from 2012, Peachtree Ridge won 15-11, the first of two double-digit scoring games on the day for the Conyers school. Loganville Christian, a second-year program, defeated Rockdale 9-1, then the Bulldogs lost 18-11 to Greater Atlanta Christian.

“Years past when we go into these tournaments there’s usually an hour and half time limit on these games. This year they changed the rules where we played a full seven (innings), that kind of wore on us,” said Rockdale coach Justin Arrington. “They held in well, all in all.”

Though the pitchers were battered during the two-day tournament, the Rockdale offense averaged nearly six runs per game. Sydney Driver was 8-for-12 (.667) and India Davis (8-for-16) and Danielle Turner (7-for-14) each hit .500 to lead the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, transfer Kelsey Stewart was 4-for-10 (.400) in her first games in a Rockdale uniform.

“We hit the ball well especially against Peachtree Ridge, we didn’t strike out a ton, which is really nice to see,” said Arrington. “That was the one good thing about the weekend. Meanwhile, Arrington waits for two players to return from injuries as Tamara Sanders recovers from a torn ACL suffered during last basketball season and Brianna Patton works through a wrist injury.

“(The tournament was) kind of a good little measuring stick in the beginning of the year to see where we stand.”