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Softball Claims First in Region with 6-1 Win Over Stratford

MACON, Ga. – Head coach Jim Turner predicted Thursday night’s region match-up against Stratford would resemble a playoff atmosphere, thus the reason he informed his Lady Vikings to be ready for anything and everything Thursday night.

And the Lady Vikings (6-5, Reg. 7) were ready and proved it, rolling to a 6-1 victory over cross-town rival Stratford Academy (7-4, 2-1 Reg. 7) to claim sole possession of first place in Region-7.

“We are so proud of our girls,” Turner said. ‘They did everything we asked them to. The support was there from the crowd and students. It was a good win and we are thankful.”

FPD broke out the bats early, plating three runs in the first inning to take the lead for good.

Allie Parkerson put the Lady Vikings on the board with an RBI double to left field that scored Maggie Renfroe. Parkerson would later touch home when Courtney Lawrence reached on a Stratford throwing error.

“I was just seeing the ball really well,” Parkerson said. “I had an idea she was going to throw it inside and picked up on it. I was able to get a pitch I could handle (from Avant).”

FPD’s final run of the frame came from Lawrence, who scored when Sumner Carlton reached on a dropped third strike.

Both pitchers would settle in until the sixth inning, when Lady Eagle pitcher Mary Wilson Avant helped out her own cause by sending a 1-2 offering from Carli Sutton over the fence to cut the FPD lead to 3-1.

But the Lady Vikings bounced back quickly, scoring three in the seventh to all but seal the win.

After a Carlton triple, a Katie Culver bunt single and a Jill Rogers walk, Renfroe later stepped in and sent a single to left field to score two key runs, sending FPD fans into a celebratory frenzy.

“I just realized that Avant had homered to cut the lead and wanted to get my teammates in,” Renfroe said. “I did everything I could to put the ball in play and thankfully it dropped in.”

Both players agree the win was nice against a local rival, but being in first place in the region is of greater importance.

“Coach Turner told us before the game that if we won this one, it’d make our road to winning region and state a lot easier,” Renfroe said. “It’s encouraging because we are confident we can win big games like this one. We wanted it more to take first place in the region.”

Parkerson said playing in front of the large crowd was great preparation for a potential state playoff run.

“A game like this gets us excited about playing,” Parkerson said. “Everyone was fired up tonight.”

Coupled with FPD’s timely hitting, Sutton was given multiple praises from her teammates after her dazzling performance. The righty allowed just one run, walked one batter and scattered seven hits in the complete-game performance.

“She (Carli) pitched amazing,” Renfroe said. “Once they got on base, she would put the pitches where they needed to be so that we would be in a position to get out of the inning without allowing a run.”

The softball team returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 3, hosting Rutland at 5:55 p.m. at the FPD Softball Complex.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by visiting www.twitter.com/FPDVikingSports.

BOX SCORE:

FPD 6, STRATFORD 1

FPD 300-000-3 — 6-5-1
SEA 000-001-0 — 1-7-2

WP: Carli Sutton (5-4). LP: Mary Wilson Avant.
2B: FPD – Allie Parkerson; SEA – Evans McCook.
3B: FPD – Sumner Carlton.
HR: SEA – Mary Wilson Avant.
Game notes: Allie Parkerson was 2-for-4 with an RBI for FPD … Maggie Renfroe was 1-for-3 with an two RBI for FPD … McCook, Avant and MaKenna Sibley recorded two hits each for Stratford … Avant had 13 strikeouts … Suttong threw 93 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Records: FPD 6-5, 3-0 Reg. 7; Stratford 7-4, 2-1 Reg. 7.
Next: Rutland at FPD, 5:55 p.m., Wednesday; GMC at Stratford, 6 p.m., Tuesday.