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Lady Tigers keep win streak alive
DKU1 Tabitha Morrison

The Lady Tigers softball team extended their winning streak to five games after taking advantage of late inning defensive miscues by Lumpkin County when they traveled to face off versus their neighboring rival on Thursday, August 14.

It was a great game with two teams that fought hard, said Jimmy Pruett, DCHSs head softball coach. It has been a couple of years since we have played.

The start of the game was less than desirable for the Lady Tigers, who had won four straight coming into the contest.

Dawsons offense encountered trouble in the first inning versus the Lady Indians starting pitcher, suffering three consecutive strikeouts.

In the bottom half of the first, Lumpkin successfully executed three consecutive bunt singles to load the bases. The small ball offense of Lumpkin appeared to surprise the Lady Tigers. With the bases loaded, an error by Dawsons second baseman allowed Lumpkin to take an early 1-0 lead. The next batter for the Lady Indians hit into a fielders choice which scored Lumpkins second run of the inning, widening the lead to 2-0. Lady Tigers starting pitcher Joy Lewis hit the next batter for Lumpkin which loaded the bases for the second time in the inning.

Lewis settled down and struck out the next two Lumpkin batters to limit the damage to two runs.

The Lady Tigers offense came to life in the top of the second. Tabitha Morrison started the inning with a single down the first base line just past the outstretched glove of the Lumpkin defender. An error by Lumpkins first baseman allowed Brooke Wende to reach first safely, putting runners on first and second with no outs. The next batter, Katelynn Simpson, laid down a sacrifice bunt which allowed the base runners to advance to second and third. That set the stage for Heather Brady to connect on a RBI single to left field which lessened the gap to 2-1. Anela Melton hit into a fielders choice which scored Dawsons second run to tie the game at 2-2. A groundout to third by Sydney McGinnis ended the inning for Dawson, but the damage had been done and the Lady Tigers were back in the ballgame.

Lumpkin took the lead again in the bottom of the third off a RBI sacrifice fly, giving the Lady Indians a 3-2 advantage.

The score remained the same until the top of the sixth. Morrison started the inning with a bunt single for the Lady Tigers. Morrison stole second base, putting her in scoring position. After a bunt attempt by Wende that gave Dawson the first out of the inning, Simpson walked on five pitches. With two on and one out, Brady slugged an RBI double to left field that scored Morrison and tied the game 3-3. A Lumpkin error later in the inning allowed Simpson to score from third and put Dawson up 4-3.

The Lady Tigers took advantage of two errors by the Lumpkin defense in the seventh inning to add three more runs to their total, making the score 7-3.

Despite allowing a double, Lewis shut down the Lady Indians in the final inning to secure the 7-3 victory for Dawson.

Every region win is important, Pruett said. The girls kept their composure. We just tried to put the ball in play and make the defense execute. We were prepared and were able to correct a couple of mistakes that we made early in the game. And, we never gave up.

The win allowed the Lady Tigers to maintain an unblemished record to start the 2014 season at 5-0.

The girls and I have talked all season long about taking it one game at a time, Pruett said.

The Lady Tigers will get the chance to continue their winning streak when they host White County today at DCHS. Both Dawsons JV and varsity squad are scheduled to play. First pitch for the JV game is 4:30 p.m. First pitch for the varsity game is 5:55 p.m.