The Dawson County High School Lady Tigers played a pair of regional games over the course of the week as they continued to try and lock up home-field advantage for the post-season. The team split the games with a victory over Cherokee Bluff and a home-field loss to the North Hall Trojans, leaving them needing a win against Fannin County Sept. 25 to avoid traveling for the 7-AAA tournament’s first game.
With an opportunity to lock up the fourth seed in the rapidly approaching 7-AAA tournament, the Lady Tigers softball team took to the road for a match-up with their regional opponent, the Cherokee Bluff Bears, on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Taking the mound in her 17th appearance, senior Maggie Schandera turned in her finest performance of the season thus far shutting down the Bears with a complete game three-hit shutout that also featured a solid defensive effort by the Lady Tigers.
Led by a three hit, two RBI night turned in by senior Carol Drake, the Tigers offense came to life in the second inning with sophomore Bella Henson scoring on an error from the Bears defense. With solid hitting throughout the game the Tigers continued to score, adding one run to their total in both the fourth and fifth innings and putting the game away with two more runs in the sixth.
With a final score of 5-0, the Tigers completed the season sweep of the Bears and returned to Dawson County to host their second regional game of the week against the Trojans from North Hall High School on Thursday, Sept. 20.
The Trojans jumped out to an early lead after the first of seven errors by the Tigers on the night allowed them to put a runner on base and the first of four hits from North Hall pitcher K. Chase began the process of moving runners around the bases. The Lady Tigers rallied quickly and minimized the damage to two runs as they closed out the first.
The bats of Dawson County were uncharacteristically cold in the first two innings as the Tigers went down in order one through six. More fielding trouble in the second inning led to the Trojans putting another run on the board and the Tigers found themselves in a three-run hole early.
After allowing the early runs, Schandera, on the mound for the 18th time this year, gave her team an opportunity to get back in the game by holding the Trojans scoreless through the middle innings recording three strike outs along the way.
The Lady Tigers offense struggled to move runners around the bases despite putting them on base in every inning after the second and left nine stranded over the course of the game.
North Hall put the final touches on the game with a three-run sixth inning and a final run in the top of the seventh to bring the final score to 7–0 in their favor.
“We competed hard and had some solid hitting,” said Head Coach Jimmy Pruett. “We made too many fielding errors and a good team will take advantage every time.”