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Softball Sweeps Strong Rock to Advance to Elite Eight

MACON, Ga. – The FPD softball team is headed back to familiar territory: the GHSA Class-A Elite Eight Softball Tournament.

For the second time in school history and as many years, the Lady Vikings (23-7) punched their ticket to Columbus, sweeping the Strong Rock Christian Lady Patriots (15-15) in two games, 5-0 and 11-0, at the FPD Softball Complex on Wednesday night, Oct. 22.

“Our girls have worked so hard,” head coach Jim Turner said. “We are thankful for this opportunity (to advance to the Elite Eight) and for this moment for our school. The team has been diligent, we practice hard and the girls earned every bit of it.”

Playing a key part in the series clinching win was senior Katherine Strickland, who finished the night 3-for-3 with three RBI, all in game two.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Strickland said of moving on to Columbus. “I can always say ‘thank you’ to God for that. I just told myself to get hits and help the team get back to the Elite Eight.”

Turner said witnessing the events unfold with Strickland’s success was, “incredible.” The senior came into Wednesday’s doubleheader with just 15 at-bats in 2014.

“She was incredible,” Turner said. “She always has a great attitude and is a quality person. Everyone was glad to see her come up with big hit after big hit tonight.”

FPD posted five runs in the first inning of game two en route to the win. The Lady Vikings out-hit the Lady Patriots 13-1 as well and 20-4 combined.

“This is an awesome feeling,” senior Sumner Carlton said, who finished 3-for-5 in the series with one RBI. “This was a really big game for us and we are glad to move on and hopefully win State.”

Junior Peyton Worsham (10-2) picked up wins in both games for FPD, allowing no runs, four hits, and striking out six. Carli Sutton tossed two perfect innings in the second game of the double-dip, allowing no hits and striking out one batter.

“They (Peyton and Carli) are both such different pitchers,” Carlton said. “It was good that we could use both of them to try and mess up their batters. Peyton has a lot of speed and Carli has a lot of movement. They both did really good.”

FPD added two runs in the third inning, one in the fourth and three more in the fifth in game two.

In game one, FPD scored twice in the fifth and three times in the sixth. Worsham doubled in Amanda Evans and Emily Rutledge to give the Lady Vikings a 2-0 lead. Carlton added a RBI double that scored Caylee Ann Sutton as well.

Carlton, Strickland and Turner all agree that there are still areas in which the team can improve heading into the Elite Eight, which is a double-elimination format tournament.

“We can always hit better,” Carlton said. “We left some runners on base in the first game, so we can definitely work on that.”

“We have to hit,” added Strickland. “We’ve got a solid defense, we have a solid offense. We’ve just got to be on the ball and have to hit the ball.”

Added Turner: “We’ll just have to be ready for that first game,” Turner said. “Mentally, physically and everything involved. We’ll have to be ready no matter who we play.”

Game times and opponents will be announced in the coming days once brackets are finalized by the GHSA. Check www.fpdvikings.com for FPD Softball coverage in the State Tournament. Visit @FPDVikingSports on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on the FPD Softball team.

The 2014 GHSA Class-A Elite Eight is scheduled for Thursday-Friday, Oct. 30-31 and Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Columbus South Commons Softball Complex.

FPD finished third overall in the 2013 GHSA Class-A State Tournament.

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.

POST-GAME VIDEOS:

BOX SCORES:

GAME ONE
FPD 5, STRONG ROCK 0

SRCS 000-000-0 — 0-3-1
FPD 000-023-x — 5-7-1

WP: Peyton Worsham (9-2). LP: Kaylin Carter.
2B: FPD – Worsham, Sumner Carlton.
Game notes: Worsham was 1-for-3 with two RBI for FPD … Carlton was 2-for-3 with one RBI for FPD … Caylee Ann Sutton was 2-for-3 for FPD … Worsham had five strikeouts … Maggie Renfroe walked twice for FPD … Madisyn Brown was 2-for-3 for Strong Rock.

GAME TWO
FPD 11, STRONG ROCK 0 (5 inn.)

FPD 502-13 — 11-13-1
SRCS 000-00 — 0-1-0

WP: Peyton Worsham (10-2). LP: Abby Young.
2B: FPD – Katherine Strickland 2, Jill Rogers 2, Emily Rutledge, Maggie Renfroe, Worsham.
Game notes: FPD wins the series 2-0 … FPD advances to second GHSA Elite Eight in school history … Strickland was 3-for-3 with four RBI for FPD … Seven different players had at least one RBI for FPD … Rutledge, Worsham, Rogers and Strickland each had multi-hit games.

Record: FPD 23-7; Strong Rock 15-15.
Next: FPD at GHSA Elite Eight in Columbus, Time TBA, Oct. 30-31, Nov. 1.

QUICK LINKS:
Macon Telegraph Article by John Kosater