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Murphy double helps Alcovy advance to second round of Class AAAAAA softball tournament

COVINGTON — One inning made the difference between winning and losing as Alcovy scored two runs in the fifth inning in their 3-0 win over North Cobb in the deciding game of the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoff on Thursday.

“There’s always pressure in a game three of a best two out of three series. They’re a great team,” Alcovy head coach Russell Brock said. “They’re a No. 4 seed but they come out of probably the toughest region in the state and we’re blessed to get by them. I’m proud of our girls.”

Alcovy will host the winner of the Acquittal County-Newman game with doubleheader on Wednesday in a best of three series. The third game, if needed, will be played on Thursday.

The Lady Warriors came out playing small ball successfully moving the runner over but unable to get on base on the bunt.

Alcovy’s Kalia Johnson kept the North Cobb bats relatively quiet in the first half of the game allowing three base runners giving up two hits, both by Erika Clifford, and walk. She finished the game with eight strikeouts, two walks and three hits.

“Kalia gets stronger as time goes on. I hope that she continues to improve as move further down the path,” Brock said.

The Lady Tigers had a had time getting on base as they were unable to get a base hit through the first four innings. Of the 12 outs, seven came from the ball being popped up for an easy catch.

“She’s a good pitcher and has a lot of off speed with good movement on the ball,” Brock said. “I felt like the timing was a little bit off. I felt like we timed her out but that didn’t come until the fifth inning.”

That all ended in the fifth inning when Johnson drove the ball through the infield for their first hit. The Lady Tigers got their second hit of the game with their next at-bat when Morgan Beshears found a hole putting two runners on base. Those runners didn’t stay on base for long when Holly Murphy drove them both home with a double giving Alcovy the lead.

Alcovy’s final run came in the sixth inning when Chelsie Nolley scored on a Raven Smith sacrifice fly.

“Our goal is to get to Columbus to the state tournament so every win is a step in that direction,” Brock said.