Two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 14 total hits for the Athens Golden Eagles led to a quick game Tuesday in their 17-2 rout of the Columbia Lady Eagles.
Athens’ Molly Gilbert got things started for the Golden Eagles in the bottom of the first, hitting a double past the left fielder. Katie Simon reached on an error in the next at-bat, driving in Gilbert for the first of many runs in the game. Haley Waggoner scored with two outs in the first inning on a wild pitch, putting the Golden Eagles at 2-0 heading into the second.
Lilli Zimmerman led off the bottom half of the second inning with an infield single toward third base. In the very next at-bat, she successfully stole second base to put herself in scoring position, and Lilli Cain knocked her in with an RBI single.
Cain was not on base for long, as the next at bat, Andreya Harris, hit a triple to right field, driving in Cain. An errant throw towards third base allowed Harris to score. While the two-run triple/error looks like a home run on paper, Morgan Stiles actually hit one over the centerfield fence in the next at-bat for a home run, giving the Golden Eagles a 6-0 advantage.
The four-run inning by the Golden Eagles was followed up in the third with a six-run inning. Haley Waggoner hit a moonshot of a home run over the left-field fence to lead off the bottom half of the third. Mazie Swann hit a triple in the next at-bat and crossed home plate two batters later on an RBI grounder from Cain.
After the Eagles were able to get one out, two consecutive Golden Eagles were hit by pitches, the second of which turned into an RBI for Gilbert. Three more runs came around for the Golden Eagles in the inning. Emily Simon had an RBI single and Payton Matherne walked, bringing in another run from third, and Swann, who came to the plate twice in the third, finished the scoring in the inning with an RBI single.
Brenin Ezell had an outstanding day on the mound for the Golden Eagles, only allowing two hits, two runs and five strikeouts.
In what would be the final inning of the game, the Golden Eagles added five more runs before it was all said and done. A three-run home run by Brynn South, an RBI double from Swann and an RBI single by Zimmerman in the final at-bat pushed the Golden Eagles to a 17-2 victory, improving their record to 14-7 on the season.
“We’re real proud of everybody. All the kids contributed,” Athens head coach Thad Prater said. “I’m real excited about that.”
It was senior night for the Athens as well, with Swann, Cain, Harris and Zimmerman each recognized before the game.
While the Golden Eagles have several games left, Prater can’t help but think of the impact each of the girls has had on the team and what a privilege it was to coach them.
“It means a lot to us. They have always been supportive in helping their other teammates out," Prater said. "It is certainly a special night for them. They deserve it.”
Each Golden Eagle finished the game with at least one hit. Two of the seniors, Swann and Cain, tied for the team lead in hits with three. The other seniors, Harris and Swann, each finished with two RBIs.