For the Dawson County varsity softball squad, it isnt lonely at the top.
The Lady Tigers (8-4-1) are moving steadily up the state Top-10 rankings, checking in at No. 5 last week, a three-spot jump from the previous week.
But Dawson is joined by a pair of its Region 7-AAA foes in the rankings, as Buford is still holding steadily at No. 1 and Fannin County moved up to No. 7.
In the next two weeks the Lady Tigers will have the chance to take on both opponents.
Fannin County will visit Dawsonville this Tuesday at 5:55 p.m. The Lady Tigers have held a clear edge over the Rebels as the two teams have seen each other plenty in the past several years.
Dawson has had a more difficult time with top-ranked Buford recently and this season will be as tough as ever as the Lady Tigers travel to Buford on Sept. 18 to take on a Wolves team that has been perfect through the schedule so far this year.
In between those games, Dawson must travel to Cleveland on Sept. 13 to take on region opponent White County, a team that finished 25-9 last year after winning the AAA State Championship in 2010. The Lady Tigers prevailed 8-7 when the two squads met last season.
In last weeks action, Dawson rang up its first region victory of the season since moving up in classification to 7-AAA with a 6-3 win over Banks County in front of the home fans.
Dawson head coach Jim Pruett said the team plays all the early season tournaments just to get ready for the region games. The Leopards and Lady Tigers have a long history of doing battle and both made the jump to AAA this season.
It was a game in which Dawson jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning and two more in the second.
Banks fought back with two runs of their own in the third inning to cut the lead in half.
Dawson had the opportunity to blow the game open in the fourth inning with a bases loaded situation and no outs, but came away empty handed.
But the Lady Tigers put the misstep behind them and pounded out two more runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-2 lead.
Standout Jenna Abbott was unstoppable at the plate with a 4-4 effort as the senior is hitting well over .600 this season with an on-base percentage over .700.
Abbott has three home runs and 10 doubles so far this season and more than half her 22 hits have been for extra bases.
Senior Carly Gilreath was also outstanding at the plate with three hits in the game.
Junior Martie Rogers had a hit and a sacrifice bunt, while senior Natalie Burt came through with timely hitting as well in the victory.
Abbott and Rogers split the pitching duties as the Lady Tigers earned their third-straight win over Banks.
Tomorrow Dawson will hit the road to East Hall for yet another Region 7-AAA contest.
It seems like every time we play these region games, its close, Pruett said, We know its going to be a battle.