The defending Class AAAAAA state champion Lady Tigers built a 4-0 lead through five innings, but had to sweat out the sixth as Allatoona (6-2) scored twice off starter Kory Best and positioned itself for more runs with the bases loaded and one out.
But Lauren Tatum, who entered the game in relief of Best, induced a pop out and fly out to consecutive batters to end the threat, and she forced Allatoona into a double play in the seventh to pick up the save.
Nicole Williams batted 1-for-2 with an RBI and Madisyn Escue was 1-for-3 with an RBI to pace the Lady Buccaneers. Dani Lewis batted 2-for-3 with a walk and Casey Lewis chipped in a double among her four at-bats.
Allatoona’s woes weren’t contained to just the sixth inning. It had scoring opportunities in the first, second and third innings, but was unable to get any timely hits off Best.
“We had the rally late, but we also had baserunners earlier in the game and didn’t do enough to get them in to win,” Allatoona coach Troy Pirkle said. “There were chances, but give credit to Archer to getting themselves out of those innings.”
Defensive miscues also helped Archer build its 4-0 advantage. Jacqui Switzer led off the game with a double and later scored off an error on the catcher.
A single and an error to lead off the fourth placed Jenna Graham on second. Courtesy runner Emily Osmer, who was in for Graham, came around to score on Kristin Hawkins’ two-out RBI single, and an error on the play allowed Holly Sturgill to also score, giving Archer a 3-0 lead.
Graham’s sacrifice fly in the fifth plated Brittany Marsette for the Lady Tigers 4-0 advantage.
“We played bad defensively,” Pirkle said. “When you give a team extra chances like we did, you can expect them to take advantage of some of those and Archer did.”
The Lady Buccaneers led off the sixth inning rally with back-to-back singles from Hailey Reagor and Erika Dunbar. Kara Hester walked to load the bases and Williams’ RBI single into left plated Reagor for the first score. Melanie Maule hit into a fielder’s choice with Dunbar out at home, and Escue’s single scored Hester for run No. 2 as Williams and Maule each advanced one base to load the bases again.
Archer coach Kristopher Daniels called on Tatum to get the Lady Tigers out of the jam, and she delivered with consecutive outs to end the inning.
Makenzie Colwart took the loss for Allatoona. She allowed four runs — two earned — on eight hits. She also walked three, had two hit batsmen and struck out two.
Morgan Kazerooni picked up a third-inning single.
The third annual Buccaneer Bash, which began Friday and ended Saturday, featured 32 teams from across the state with games played at nine sites in Cobb and surrounding counties.
“A lot of games have been played over these two games,” Pirkle said. “The point is to get an opportunity to go against some good competition and take a look at your kids and figure out who works where best. It serves its purpose to help get teams ready before region play starts.”