For the Dawson County varsity softball team, confidence has come at a good time—heading into post-season play.
“I am confident and I think the girls are finally confident and that’s a big deal in any sport, is feeling good about yourself,” said Coach Jimmy Pruett.
Last week the Lady Tigers won two out of their three contests and even the loss was a close one on the road.
Dawson County defeated Fannin County at home, 7-2 on Sept. 19 before going on the road to Chestatee where they lost 1-0 and then got a big win against North Hall, 3-1.
“It was a very good week,” Pruett said.
During the home contest with Fannin, Dawson honored its senior players, Lauryn Antoun, Skylar Caine and Micaiah Jenkins before the game.
In the first two innings, Dawson retired the Lady Rebels in three-up-and down fashion with several plays in the infield from Caine.
Jenkins hit a third base line drive for a single and Antoun singled to right, but the two were stranded.
In the third inning, Dawson picked up the third out when they caught a runner between third and home and ran her down.
Brandi Williams led off in the third with a walk and Carol Drake put down a perfect bunt on the first base line to reach. Caine followed with her own bunt down third to load the bases.
Maggie Schandera then singled to score two. Jenkins added another on a sacrifice fly before Kendall Martin got home on a Rebel error.
Fannin would score its only two runs in the top of the fifth after a foul ball and an error.
In the bottom of the sixth, Williams doubled to left after Martin walked. Martin was able to tag up and score on a Drake pop out to center.
A Caine single would advance Williams before a Schandera out in center would allow Caine to score on the tag up.
The Sept. 20 game at Chestatee was what Pruett called a pitcher’s duel.
“Chestatee is good,” he said. “They are tied for first place in 4A and they are in a region with Marist and Blessed Trinity. We played them tooth and nail. I feel like anybody we can play right now, we can win.”
Scoreless until the sixth inning, the War Eagles were able to score after a triple put a runner on and a pop up allowed the runner to tag and reach home.
Pruett credited Schandera for her efforts from inside the circle all week.
‘Maggie pitched great,” Preutt said. “She has pitched great all week. You play games back to back to back. She’s done an outstanding job. She walks no one. She’s keeping the ball down, causing the other team to hit a lot of ground balls. As a coach I couldn’t ask for anything more.
In a balanced region, the two region wins have come at a great time.”
On Sept. 21, the Lady Tigers got another road win over a talented North Hall program, 3-1.
Also scoreless until the sixth inning, Dawson got on the board first when Jenkins was able to reach on an error by the Lady Trojans. The Lady Tigers would return the favor in the bottom of the inning allowing a North Hall run.
The only other scoring came in the seventh when Tow walked, followed by Williams getting on with a walk before Drake doubled to left and brought them both in.
The wins take Dawson to 9-9 on the season.
“Nothing is easy, I mean literally nothing is easy,” Pruett said. “Two region wins. Our region is so balanced. There are some teams that started off poorly that now are playing well. There are some teams that started off good that now are struggling. You want to be playing well towards the end of the season.”
Dawson county hosted Greater Atlanta Christian on Sept. 26, but results were not available as of press time. The team will play at 5:55 p.m. on Sept. 28 against Lumpkin County at home to finish out the regular season.
Region tournament play will begin on Sept. 30.
The junior varsity softball program also played Fannin County and North Hall last week. The team lost to Fannin, 9-4 at home on Sept. 19.
On Sept. 21, the JV lost a close one on the road at North Hall, 4-3. They are now 1-8.