GAINESVILLE — Decatur used a seven-run fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie on their way to a 12-6 win over the Gainesville Lady Leopards in the District 9-3A opener for both teams.
Decatur (1-0 district) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning on three hits and two GHS errors.
Gainesville (0-1) got one of those runs back in the second inning as Kaitlyn Romans doubled and later scored on a Lady Eagle throwing error.
The Lady Leopards were able to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Romans blasted a triple to left and Haley Schumacher followed with a walk. Payton Cassidy then single both runners home to make it 4-3. Karley Rhodes then singled and Hannah Gerken brought Cassidy home with an RBI groundout.
But the game didn’t stay tied for long.
Decatur scored seven runs in the top of the fifth to make it 11-4.
The lead grew to 12-4 when the Lady Eagles added another run in the top of the seventh.
Gainesville tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Gerken led off by reaching first on an error. Chandler Kemp came in as a courtesy runner. Bari Hancock then singled to move Kemp to third. Brittany Royal then grounded the ball to the pitcher who threw home to get the out on Kemp trying to score. Samantha Calhoun followed with a 2-RBI single to make it 12-6, but that was all the Lady Leopards could get.
Hancock, Calhoun and Romans all finished the game with two hits, while Royal and Cassidy each added one.
Sarah Gerken saw her first action of the year in the pitching circle. The senior pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed 11 runs (3 earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts. Hannah Gerken pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit with a strikeout.