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Softball Claims Ninth Region Title with 4-3 Thriller Over Tattnall

MACON, Ga. – FPD softball head coach Jim Turner described his team in one word after Thursday’s Region Tournament Championship game against Tattnall Square Academy: relentless.

The Lady Vikings were indeed, coming from behind to claim their ninth region championship in school history and their fourth since becoming a member of the GHSA in 2010, defeating Lady Trojans 4-3 at the FPD Softball Complex.

The victory gives the Lady Vikings an automatic bid to the GHSA Class-A State Tournament later in October and a first round home series.

“We never gave up,” Turner said. “We kept battling and got the clutch hits when we needed to.”

Those clutch hits came off the bats of Allie Parkerson and Emily Rutledge.

Parkerson knocked in the game-winning run on a single in the bottom of the sixth that plated Maggie Renfroe. The game-tying run was driven in by Rutledge earlier in the inning, who finished the night at 3-for-4 with three RBI.

“It’s hard to put this one into words,” Rutledge said, who blasted a solo home run in the third inning to give FPD its first run of the game. “We’re just really proud. We’ve worked hard for this, put our trust in Jesus all year and it worked out tonight.”

Rutledge and Parkerson certainly had key moments at the dish for the Lady Vikings, but pitcher Peyton Worsham also proved pivotal by escaping multiple jams throughout the evening.

The most notable came in the top half of the sixth inning when Tattnall had the bases loaded with two outs and leading 3-2. But Worsham struck out Tattnall’s Taylor Spivey to end the threat.

“I just knew I had a great team behind me,” Worsham said. “We put our trust in God and I knew that we could do what it took to win.”

Teammate Ashleigh Powers agrees.

“We just stayed focused as a team,” Powers said. “We kept building each other up the whole game. It was an awesome game. We definitely had great pitching on Peyton’s part.”

Tattnall scored early in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Ashleigh Morton that scored Allie Gordon.

FPD tied the game in the third on Rutledge’s blast.

“I was just seeing a lot of what we worked on in practice,” Rutledge said. “We’ve seen Tattnall pitcher (Caroline) Gilbert before … was just able to pick up the pitch and hit it.”

The Lady Trojans took the lead in the fourth, scoring two runs on a Jordan Allen double that brought home Drew Endresson and Liz Wainwright.

FPD answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning on a Rutledge infield single to score Caroline Harrison.

Worsham then escaped another scare in the fifth. After allowing back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, the righty mowed down three straight Lady Trojan batters to end the threat.

“We pitched a certain way,” Turner said. “They are a very good team. Our girls came back, stayed in the game mentally and did a great job finishing it.”

Worsham (8-2) finished with five strikeouts on the night in the complete game effort to pick up her eighth win of 2014.

Turner says the support from Viking Nation was, “incredible.”

“We had a lot of folks here tonight,” Turner said. “Our fans were great, their fans were great and we are thankful to be region champions.”

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.

VIDEOS:

BOX SCORE:

FPD 4, TATTNALL 3

TSA 100-200-0 — 3-7-2
FPD 001-102-x — 4-9-2

WP: Peyton Worsham (8-2). LP: Caroline Gilbert.
2B: TSA – Jordan Allen.
HR: FPD – Emily Rutledge (3).

Game notes: FPD won its ninth region championship in school history and fourth since joining the GHSA in 2010 … FPD’s last region title was in 2012 … Rutledge was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI … Parkerson was 1-for-4 with a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth … Worsham struck-out six and Gilbert fanned five … Jill Rogers was 2-for-2 for FPD … Allen was 1-for-4 with 2 RBI for Tattnall … Allie Gordon was 2-for-3 for Tattnall … Rutledge homered in the third for FPD … FPD is 2-1 against Tattnall in 2014.

Record: FPD 21-7, 11-1 Reg. 7; Tattnall 18-8, 8-3 Reg. 7.
Next: GHSA A State Tournament, TBD.

LOCAL MEDIA:
Macon Telegraph Article by Ryan Jordan