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State tournament: Patriots finish day one in Montgomery

The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots began play in the 2019 AISA State Tournament on Thursday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

The Patriots began the day with a 6-0 win over the Morgan Academy Senators. They followed that game with matchups against Macon-East and Springwood.

After a slow start to the morning, the Lady Patriots’ offense came along in their 6-0 win over Morgan.

There was just one hit in the first three-and-a-half innings between the Patriots and the Senators. Ally Rushing got the call as the Patriots starter against Morgan Academy. Rushing went the distance, pitching seven innings of shutout softball. She allowed four hits and struck out four batters.

Morgan Bundy’s leadoff double in the top of the first inning was the only hit of the game heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. In the top of the fifth, the Patriots’ bats woke up. The Patriots sent nine batters to the plate and finally got on the scoreboard with five runs. Maddi Johnson broke the ice with an RBI single to left to drive in Ansley Adams. Emily Dean doubled the Patriots lead with a one-out RBI single. After the Patriots’ second sacrifice bunt of the inning, Pike had RBI singles by Bundy and Grace Rushing and Ally Rushing provided an RBI double.

Down 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Morgan had runners on second and third base with one out in the inning. Rushing got out of the inning after forcing a fly ball out and a groundout.

Grace Rushing provided an insurance run in the top half of the seventh inning she singled in Mallory Clifton, giving the Patriots a 6-0 lead.

Bundy, Grace Rushing and Ally Rushing all went 2-4 at the plate, while Johnson, Dannah Dawson and Emily Dean had one hit.

The Patriots followed up their game one win with a 7-0 loss to top-seeded Macon-East in game two, sending them into the loser’s bracket.

The Lady Patriots survived and advanced with an 8-0 win over Springwood in an elimination game.

With the win, the Patriots will open up day two against Bessemer today beginning at 10 a.m. in another elimination game.