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Fourth inning dooms ladies
Varsity Softball pic
Third baseman Emily Hunsucker attempts to tag out a Buford runner. - photo by Pam Jacobs Dawson Community News

One bad inning was all it took for Dawson County to lose a heartbreaking 4-1 decision to reigning state champion Buford last week.

The Lady Tigers couldn't overcome a 4-run fourth inning in the Oct. 3 loss.

Head coach Jimmy Pruett's team entered the Region 7-AAA region tournament as the No. 1-seed after defeating Buford the week prior.

Dawson County played Fannin County on Thursday and came away with a 5-1 loss that sends them into state play as a No. 3-seed. Taking the loss on the mound against Fannin was Jenna Abbott.

The Lady Tigers will travel to play a double-header against Woodward Academy on Wednesday. A third game will be played Thursday, if needed.

Woodward comes into the contest as the No. 2-seed out of Region 6-AAA.

Woodward was defeated by Blessed Trinity in the region final last week.

The Lady War Eagles come into the contest with a 16-8 record.

"Our bats just went cold at the wrong time," Pruett said. "We have to rebound this week at the plate against a good Woodward Academy team."

The only two runs Dawson County could muster in both games were home runs.

Against Buford, Carly Gilreath hit a homer in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Buford pitcher Bria Bush. It was the first career four-bagger of Gilreath's career.

In the Fannin game, Abbott connected on a long ball for the only Lady Tiger run of the game.

"We have got to do a better job of executing and getting runners in that are in scoring position," Pruett said.

Against Buford, the Lady Tigers managed a second hit off of Bush by Sam Moulder.

Emily Hunsucker then laid down a beautiful bunt that put runners on first and second base.

Bush rallied to strike out the next two hitters, ending the Lady Tigers inning.

Dawson pitcher Martie Rogers got out of trouble in the third inning after a leadoff hit.

Rogers stranded the lone Buford runner at third base to keep the score notched at 0-0.

Rogers finished the game giving up eight hits and recording seven strikeouts, while walking three.

The fourth inning got off to a rocky start for Dawson County.

After an error to begin the inning, two hits scored a run that put Buford up 1-0.

With runners on first and third, freshman Drew Puckett took a 2-2 pitch over the fence in right center, scoring three runs and giving Buford an insurmountable 4-0 advantage.

It was the first career homer for Puckett.

"The Buford hitter connected on a good pitch from Martie," Pruett said.

Dawson County managed only four hits against Bush.

A highlight on defense occurred in the fifth inning. After a leadoff walk to start the inning by Buford, the base runner attempted to take second on a steal.

Catcher Moulder gunned the runner down on a great throw to shortstop Joy Lewis that erased a potential runner in scoring position.

"Hopefully our bats will come alive this week. If not, we better play some good defense if we plan on playing on in the state tournament," Pruett said.