By Zack Huffman
It was the bottom of the third inning at Lovejoy Softball Complex. Morrow trailed for an entire inning. After trading four-run innings in the first, the Lady Wildcats drove in seven more runs to take an 11-4 lead on the Lady Mustangs in the second. Morrow answered with four.
They may not have realized it, but there was a lot riding on this game. If Morrow could come back, it would ensure a championship victory for Mundy's Mill, but if Lovejoy could hang onto the lead, then remain undefeated for the remainder of the tournament, they could snatch the championship that was already so close to being within Mundy's Mill's grasp.
Members of the Lady Tigers' orange-clad squad watched the game as Morrow began closing in on its deficit.
The Lady Tigers had already ended their first game of the day, administering an explosive attack upon Mt. Zion, 22-3 in three innings.
The win put Mundy's Mill up 3-0 in the tournament, meaning the best any other team could hope for, with each having suffered at least one loss, would be a tie breaking win of Mundy's Mill's total for the trophy, provided that team could also defeat the Lady Tigers.
That's the hope Lovejoy was battling for, when in the final inning Morrow sent six runners home, to take their first lead of the game, 14-12, just in time for the game to complete three innings and hit the game-ending time limit.
Before the night could be concluded, Mt. Zion would have to contend with Osbourne and Mundy's Mill would face Lovejoy.
As the Lady Bulldogs suffered through a 19-0 loss to the Lady Cardinals, Lovejoy was playing for pride, going up against what was arguably one of the toughest teams in the tournament.
Despite an 8-0 first inning, the Lady Wildcats continued to battle, ultimately bowing out in four innings , 13-3.
There may still be a final day of competition to go, but Mundy's Mill had already taken home the Clayton County Clash of Champions trophy.
The Clash of Champions tournament featured a round-robin style of play, where all five participating teams had the opportunity to play each of the other teams in the series.
With five round of games spread out among three days, each team also enjoyed the benefit of a single bye.
Luck of the draw gave Mundy's Mill a bye on the final day, meaning the Lady Tigers completed their fourth and final game Friday night, to cap an undefeated streak through the tournament.
"We've had a lot of good, bright spots. It's a great way to start the season," said Mundy's Mill coach Patrick Smith as he addressed his team upon receiving the championship trophy.
"I think we did really well," said Mundy's Mill pitcher Bryonne Ballard. "We've got a lot of freshmen and they really stepped it up this week. We did what we had to do to win the tournament."