In a typical game, that alone would be enough to dominate a team, but Cherokee’s offense didn’t have an answer for Dover’s Etowah counterpart, Bridgette Flaherty. The Lady Warriors lost 1-0 in eight innings in an early Region 5AAAAAA showdown at Boling Park.
Flaherty struck out seven and scattered four Cherokee hits without allowing a runner to cross the plate. The game wasn’t without some close calls for her, however.
After Etowah’s Torrie Garner doubled to center field in the top of the eighth inning to drive in the game’s first run, Cherokee (9-4-1, 1-1) was able to get a runner to third in its half of the eighth. But Flaherty was able to escape the Lady Warriors’ rally bid, and Etowah (7-4-2, 2-0) walked away with the victory.
Flaherty also found herself in trouble in the bottom of the first inning, as Cherokee loaded the bases with one out. But some sound defense, including a play at the plate, bailed Flaherty out, and the game remained scoreless.
Despite earning the win, Flaherty wasn’t entirely satisfied with her performance.
“I did alright,” she said. “I’ve done better, but I’ve also done a lot worse. To pull through in the eighth inning was good for me.”
Dover began the game by striking out the side in the top of the first inning, setting the tone for Wednesday’s pitchers’ duel.
From that second inning on, neither team’s offense could find an answer for Dover and Flaherty, amassing only three hits through the seventh inning. Dover carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, only for it to be broken up with a single from Etowah’s Jenna Ertel.
Though happy with her team’s determination, coach Victoria Brown felt Etowah could have played better in many areas.
“We had enough fight to pull it out, but I’m not happy with the way we played,” Brown said. “We didn’t make adjustments at the plate, and we had way too many strikeouts.”
Brown was pleased with Flaherty’s performance, but saw their lack of run production as a major concern.
“Bridgette is always going to come out here and work, but if we don’t score runs, it won’t do us any good,” Brown said.
Cherokee coach Tonya Carlisle also felt that her team’s offense was in need of improvement.
“We’ve got to get better offensively,” said Carlisle.
Despite the defeat, however, Carlisle remained fairly positive.
“It was a good game. Congratulations to Etowah, they played well,” she said. “It’s just the way the ball bounces. The breaks didn’t go our way this time.”