Grant, Etowah beat Sardis 5-1


Etowah catcher Amber Jones catches a ball as Sardis’ Kameron Carter gets caught in a rundown during Thursday’s game. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)


ATTALLA — Madison Grant could have let it get to her.

After all, giving up a first-inning home run just three batters into a game might rattle anybody.

But not this freshman. If anything, it made her better.

Grant and the Etowah High School softball team defeated Sardis 5-1 on a chilly Thursday afternoon to win their season opener.

Grant went all seven innings, giving up a run on four hits while striking out seven. She added a two-RBI single in the third to give the Blue Devils (1-0) the lead for good.

“Anytime you give up a long ball in the first inning, you gotta just put that out of your mind and come back and pitch,” Etowah coach B.J. Jones said. “And she did a fantastic job.”

The game was just a few pitches old before Grant made her only mistake. She hung a curve ball to Sardis slugger Kameron Carter, and the senior sent a no-doubter over the left center-field fence to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

It was all Sardis (0-2) would get.

In the third inning, Etowah got two runners on before Grant stepped to the plate. She laced a one-out single to left field to score Nicki Rodgers and Whitney Steele, giving the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead.

Etowah added three runs in the fifth when Sardis pitcher Bethany Chamblee allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases. Chamblee then walked Cailee Chaffin, which scored Steele, and an error allowed the final two runs to cross.

“We got a little help from them, but I thought we did a good job the whole game of just putting the ball in play,” Jones said. “We preach that to our girls, that if they just do that, good things are going to happen.”

Grant finished 2 for 2 with two RBI. Steele went 1 for 3 with two runs, while Madison Bishop went 1 for 3. Brooke Perry scored a run.

For Sardis, Jadie Fobbus, Chamblee and Kacee Mashburn each had hits.

Chamblee suffered the loss, giving up five runs on just four hits. But she walked five and hit two batters.

Jones likes where his team is at the beginning of the 2013 season.

“We need to clean some stuff up defensively, but offensively, it went well,” he said. “We put the ball in play and forced them to make plays on us. If we can continue to do that, I think we’ll be as successful as we want to be.”