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Grand Slam Lifts Softball Over Stratford 5-4

MACON, Ga. – Emily Rutledge savored every moment.

Coming to the plate with the bases loaded against a local rival sent her adrenaline into overdrive in Thursday’s Region-7 contest against Stratford at FPD.

But the sophomore channeled that energy in a positive way, smashing a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the second inning to help send the Lady Vikings (17-6, 7-0 Reg. 7) past the Stratford Academy Eaglettes 5-4 at the FPD Softball Complex.

The win gives FPD 13 wins in their past 14 games. The Lady Vikings remain in first place and undefeated in Region-7 after Thursday’s victory.

“It was a hard-fought game by both teams,” Rutledge said. “It was fun to play one of our rivals and come out on top.”

Down 1-2 in the count after three consecutive Lady Vikings reached base, Rutledge was keying in on the fastballs from Stratford power pitcher Mary Wilson Avant. The righty got one to hit and sent it over the left field fence.

“She throws a lot of fastballs inside,” Rutledge said. “That’s what we’ve been practicing on and we saw that from her in the previous game we played against them. We were well prepared tonight.”

Peyton Worsham (7-1) picked up the win in the circle for FPD. The junior allowed four runs in what proved to be a nerve-wrecking seventh inning for the Lady Vikings.

Stratford came back to score all four of their runs in the seventh inning. After three consecutive Eaglette hits, Avant grounded into a fielders choice to bring in the Eaglettes’ first run of the night.

Then a Lady Viking error in the field coupled with another Stratford hit by Tori Dover made the score 5-4.

That’s when FPD head coach Jim Turner made a move to bring in Carli Sutton in relief to close out the win, which she did on three pitches by inducing Stratford’s Avery Layton into a ground-out with the go-ahead run on base for Stratford to end the game.

“Peyton pitched great tonight despite running into some trouble in the seventh,” Turner said. “Then we called on Carli. Both pitchers had nerves of steel late when the game got close.”

Turner said that the Lady Vikings continue to move in the right direction in 2014.

“Everyone’s chipping in where we need them to,” Turner said. “Sumner (Carlton) got two big hits tonight, Rutledge’s grand slam was big and our pitching has been good. Everyone is doing great.”

Rutledge hopes the momentum will continue for the Lady Vikings.

“We just have to keep working hard,” Rutledge said. “We have to keep believing in each other and building each other up. We’re definitely on a roll.”

FPD scored it’s fifth run of the game in the fourth inning when Carlton raced home on an Avant wild pitch.

The Lady Vikings are 2-0 against the Eaglettes in 2014. FPD bested Stratford 6-1 back on Aug. 28.

The Lady Vikings are back in action on Tuesday night, Sept. 23, hosting the Tattnall Square Academy Lady Trojans at 5:55 p.m. at the FPD Softball Complex.

FPD defeated the Lady Trojans 3-2 in extra innings on Sept. 4 at Tattnall.

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 5, STRATFORD 4

SEA 000-000-4 — 4-8-2
FPD 040-100-x — 5-6-3

WP: Peyton Worsham (7-1). LP: Mary Wilson Avant. S: Carli Sutton (1).
2B: Stratford – Mary Elizabeth Wade; FPD – Peyton Worsham 2, Sumner Carlton.
HR: Emily Rutledge (2).

Game notes: Rutledge hit a grand slam in the second … Carlton was 2-for-3 for FPD … Avant and Tori Dover had one RBI each for Stratford … Stratford left 10 on base while FPD left six runners on … Both teams walked three times and struck out four times … Worsham struck out four batters and Avant three … Carlton had two stolen bases .. Rutledge’s home run was her second on the season.

Records: FPD 17-6 (7-0 Reg. 7); Stratford 9-8 (4-3 Reg. 7)
Next: Tattnall at FPD, 5:55 p.m., Tuesday; Stratford at Twiggs County, 6 p.m., Tuesday.