Photo: Karl L. Moore Mountain View's Cara DeSandre (6) dives back safely under the tag of Peachtree Ridge first baseman LeAnn Davis (5) during Tuesday evening's game at Peachtree Ridge.
SUWANEE -- Having entered Tuesday's game at Peachtree Ridge just one win short of their total from all of last season, Mountain View's softball team has already demonstrated it can be quite competitive in rugged Region 7-AAAAAA.
But the No. 5 state-ranked Lions showed the Bears they still have a way to go if they are to barge into the region's elite.
Sara Walker scattered seven hits and two earned runs in a complete-game effort in the circle and went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs at the plate as Peachtree Ridge took control early and ran away for a 10-2 victory.
"They're much improved," Lions coach Bubba Wilson said of Mountain View (12-5, 1-1). "We were fortunate to get out of some jams. It could've been a different game, to be honest with you."
Wilson wasn't just paying lip service. The Bears put baserunners on in every inning, and jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Megan Tonnesen's one-out double and Courtney Kichefski's RBI single in the top of the first.
But every time Mountain View threatened, Walker (7-0) and Peachtree Ridge (13-2, 2-0) responded in a way teams that have made the postseason five of the last six seasons do.
It's something head coach Maria Sharrett admits her Bears still have to learn.
"We got off to a great start," Sharrett said. "Then, (the players) got a little intimidated and couldn't come back. By winning all these (early) games, they had great confidence in themselves, (but) they didn't carry it over into this game."
After escaping the top of the first down just the one run, Peachtree Ridge began to show its confidence in the bottom of the inning, with Sam Pierannunzi and Maiah Johnson each drawing walks and stealing a base, with a wild pitch thrown in, to put runners at second and third with nobody out.
Walker then sent a drive to the gap in right-center that landed just out of the reach of Mountain View rightfielder Taylor Whitsel for a two-run double that vaulted the Lions in front 2-1.
Kayla Jones followed with the first of her two hits on the day to drive in Walker, and the lead was quickly 3-1.
"We kind of got control of the game back a little bit," Wilson said of the early runs. "Any time you can answer, especially in the first inning, that's important. It kind of sets the tone there."
From there, Walker kept battling and finding ways to limit the damage each time Mountain View tried to rally, allowing just another RBI single by Kichefski in the fifth inning.
But by the time the Bears managed that second run, the Lions had been busy pouncing on their scoring opportunities.
They struck for one on Pierannunzi's RBI triple in the second and added four more runs on a pair of two-run singles by Quinn Hill and Johnson to push the lead to 8-1 before Mountain View's single run in the top of the fifth.
And Peachtree Ridge put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, with five straight hitters reaching, including RBI singles from Savanna Turvy and LeAnn Davis, to end the game on the GSHA's run rule by the 10-2 final.
Turvy and Davis each joined Walker and Jones with two hits for the game, while Pierannunzi and Johnson each had a hit and drew two walks.