For three innings, the Bulloch Academy Lady Gators were much like Thursday afternoon’s 70-degree temperature.
After run-ruling two opponents this week by a combined score of 16-0, Bulloch was expected to roll over GISA Region 4-AAA foe Memorial Day School and call it a day early.
But the Lady Matadors surprised the BA girls by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and holding them at bay.
The Lady Gators finally warmed up in the middle innings, scoring seven runs in two innings to cruise to a 9-4 win over Memorial and get their fourth straight victory.
Bulloch (8-4 overall and 2-0 in region play) scored three runs in the fourth inning and four in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Junior pitcher Madelyn Vickery went six innings, giving up five hits and striking out six batters.
Senior Marianna Peebles pounded three hits, two of them doubles, as classmate Mary Margaret Reeves and sophomore Ashley Burke added two each. As a team, Bulloch blasted MDS pitching for nine hits.
But it looked differently in the top of the first when the Lady Matadors strung together three hits and took advantage of a BA error for a 2-0 lead.
It wasn’t until the third when BA was able to put a run on the board. Freshman Kaleigh Sisolak reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, junior Ashlee Lanier blasted a double to plate her teammate and cut the advantage in half.
Bolstered by the score, Vickery sat the Lady Matadors down in succession in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the inning, Peebles had a two-RBI double, Burke singled and Reeves reached an error that scored junior Danielle Atkinson. Atkinson walked earlier in the inning.
Bulloch kept the Lady Matadors off the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, BA added four more runs on two hits, two walks and three MDS errors. Burke had a two-run single and Peebles blasted another double, scoring one run to put BA ahead 8-2.
In the sixth, junior Haley Mock reached third when two errors were committed on her blast down the first-base line. She scored on sophomore Powell Fennell’s hot shot up the middle for a 9-2 advantage.
In the seventh, MDS touched freshman relief pitcher Ansley Daughtry for two runs before the BA defense ended the game.
On Monday, BA scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to run-ruled Thomas Jefferson Academy 8-0. Vickery got the win, giving up three hits, two walks and striking out three. The Lady Gators collected 12 hits. Peebles went 3-for-3 with two RBI while Sisolak was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in. Freshman Hannah Dasher was 2-for-3 with one RBI.
On Wednesday, the Lady Gator traveled to Waynesboro and got their first region victory with an 8-0, sixth-inning run-rule in the sixth.
Bulloch travels to Milledgeville Tuesday to battle region opponent John Milledge Academy and is back home Wednesday to host Stratford Academy.