But the win wasn’t easy.
After staking a 2-0 lead over the first three innings, Lassiter saw the margin vanish after Allatoona rallied to tie the contest with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Lady Trojans, however, responded with a run in the sixth and made a play at the plate for the third out in the bottom of the seventh to take a 3-2 victory over the Lady Buccaneers.
“It’s good to get that first win under your belt,” Campbell said, “and it helps to start out playing against a team and a coach you’re familiar with like (Allatoona) coach (Troy) Pirkle. He and I have coached against each other for several years now, so that makes taking over a new program a little easier.
“I’m excited to be here. The girls are excited to play, and things are working out. (Former Lassiter) coach (Scott) Kelly got the girls prepared for the 10 years he was here, so it’s a group that knows how to play. I’m blessed to have been able to take over and I hope to be here for a long time.”
Lassiter’s Murphy Davis batted 2-for-2 with a double and scored the winning run in a rundown.
After hitting a one-out double with the scored tied at 2-all in the sixth, Davis moved to third on Elise Sandberg’s single. On the next at-bat, Mackenzie Kayler hit a groundball to Allatoona’s shortstop Bailey Crawford, who attempted to get Davis out at home. Davis got caught in the rundown between the plate and third base, but she still managed to score to put Lassiter on top by one.
Allatoona had an opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t get over the hump.
Casey Lewis reached base on two-out error and advanced to second on the next play. Madisyn Escue, who batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs, singled to center fielder Carli Kayler, but the throw from Kayler reached catcher Sammi Green in time for Lewis to be tagged out at the plate for the third out.
“That last out was all on me,” said Pirkle, who waved Lewis home from third. “I’ll take that one, but I like how we’re competing. We had Kennesaw Mountain Tuesday, Lassiter (Wednesday) and we play Marist (today). We knew these first couple of games this season were against some tough teams, and to have these first two end as one-run games is a good sign.
“We caught some breaks (in a win) against Kennesaw Mountain, and (Lassiter) caught some breaks against us. We were down 2-0, came back, and had a chance to tie, but our girl got caught at the plate. There’s still a lot of games left.”
Carli Kayler, who was 1-for-3, put Lassiter on the board in the second inning with a two-out solo home run. The Lady Trojans added to their lead in the third when Kelly Sinclair reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on Davis’ single and advanced to third on Sandberg’s fielder’s choice.
Sinclair stole home during Sandberg’s at-bat, as Hillgrove attempted to double-up Sandberg at first.
The Lady Hawks tied the contest in the fifth behind Escue’s two-out double. Brandi Blair reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on Lewis’ single. Escue then hit a 3-0 pitch into left field that dropped in front of a sliding Sandberg and rolled to the left field fence, allowing Blair and Lewis to score.
Erika Dunbar was 2-for-3 for Allatoona, while Lewis allowed three earned runs on nine hits and struck out two.
Mackenzie Kayler gave up two earned runs on five hits with one strike out to earn the win for Lassiter.
“She’s a veteran pitcher,” Campbell said of Kayler. “She’ll be very solid for us, as long as she stays healthy.”