Softball: Pope off to strong start

Craig Sager II

Score Atlanta

Class AAAAA 2012 runner-up Pope is 4-1 to start the season and opened with a win over Harrison in the Kell Invitational. Elly Strother tossed a complete game in the Greyhounds’ 3-2 win giving up two earned runs on one hit and walked six batters. Katie Deady drove in three runs in Pope’s 13-2 victory over Walton in the Greyhounds’ back end of the double-header. Pitcher Lindsey Walsh struck out seven batters. Ridgeland handed the Greyhounds their first loss of the season, 7-6.

Defending Class AAAAAA champion Archer opened its season on Tuesday with a two-game sweep over North Forsyth. In Game 1, the Tigers erased a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3, and then took the nightcap 10-5. Kennesaw Mountain was a state finalist in 2012 and opened its season in the win column. Mustang pitcher Kathrun Woody held off an Allatoona rally in the seventh inning to secure the 3-2 victory.

Aeshia Miles struck out 11 batters and allowed two hits in Collins Hill’s 2-1 win over Loganville. Grayson first baseman and pitcher Breanna Ethridge committed to Dartmouth this week. Ethridge and the Rams lost their opener 5-4 to Mountain View on Monday in Hawk-Bulldog Invitational Tournament and will face off in a double header with South Effingham and Peachtree Ridge on Friday.

The Hawk/Bulldog Invitational Tournament is hosted by North Gwinnett and Mill Creek and features 18-teams in its four-day tournament (Aug 14-17). North Gwinnett shut out Jefferson 9-0 in the tournament’s opening day. Bulldogs pitcher Kinsley Jennings drove in a pair of runs at the plate and tossed five scoreless innings without surrendering a walk. North Gwinnett outfielder Draven Sonnon is committed to Georgia Tech and was selected to Gwinnett’s Super Six team this season.

Blessed Trinity topped Greater Atlanta Christian 10-2 in non-region play and sent the Spartans to a slow 1-5 start. The Spartans first win came in a 17-11 shootout over Rockdale County.

Over the summer, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Megan Betsa of Union Grove High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Georgia Softball Player of the Year. Betsa is playing at the University of Michigan this fall. The Wolverines opened their season without Betsta with a 6-4 win over Mary Persons. Aug. 23-24 Union Grove is slated to participate in two Cobb County Tournaments that will pin them against five teams in four days including a triple-header on Saturday (Roswell, Mt Pisgah and Harrison).

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