Region rivals: key contests on tap today

By Anthony Rhoads and Jeffery Armstrong

Now that the 2003 season is underway, local softball teams are into their region schedule.

Today, several teams are playing several key region contests.

In Area 2-AAAAA action, Jonesboro travels to Stockbridge, Northside-Warner Robins plays at Morrow, Mt. Zion plays at Houston County, Eagle's Landing is at Westside-Macon and Henry County plays at Warner Robins.

In Area 4-AAAAA, Mundy's Mill plays at Riverdale.

Lovejoy rolls past Mt. Zion: Kyle Martin struck out four batters as the Lovejoy Lady Wildcats defeated Mt. Zion 19-0 in four innings Wednesday. Martin also had a good day at the plate by collecting three hits. Katie Vickers smacked two hits in the victory.

The Lady Wildcats get back into action Sept. 16 at Riverdale.

Staying mentally focused: The first-year Luella Lady Lions are a very young team made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores.

"We've been doing fairly well, gelling really well," head coach Steve Adkins said. "We have team talks, family talks about how we're going and I tell them ?we're not satisfied.' We're young and sometimes it's hard to be mentally focused. (In Monday's 1-0 win over Union Grove) was probably the best game we've been mentally focused."

State-ranked: In this week's gafastpitch.net state softball poll, Union Grove is ranked No. 8 in Class AA. No other Henry or Clayton teams are ranked.

Hard-luck loss: Most of the time when you pitch a no-hitter, you're going to win but that wasn't the case for Union Grove's Amy Dumas Monday. She struck out 13 and allowed no hits but Luella scored one run off an error to take the victory.

Needs the competition: Stansell likes to schedule Union Grove against other Henry County teams because of the natural rivalries but because of the competition.

"We need that because we don't get competition in our region," she said. "We've been winning games 15-0, 17-0 and that's not giving us competition."

How bizarre: Henry County's Amber Harrell struck out the side in the sixth inning against Stockbridge Tuesday, but two runs scored anyway. Harrell struck out the first four batters that came to the plate, but Henry catcher Ashley Conway let two of the third strikes get past her and both runners were safe at first. That set the stage for Tara Gober's two-run single to put Stockbridge ahead. Harrell struck out Terese Gober to end the inning.

"I don't think I've ever seen five strikeouts in an inning and two of the strikeouts scored," said Henry head coach Chuck Campbell.