What a stressful week for Coach Jimmy Pruett and his varsity Lady Tiger softball team. Dawson County standout third baseman Emily Hunsucker suffered a high-ankle sprain in Tuesday's game with Fannin County to start the downfall.
To compound matters the team melted down against Fannin, allowing the Lady Rebels to come from a 5-2 deficit to win 10-7.
The Lady Tigers committed nine errors in the contest. Starting pitcher Martie Rogers allowed 10 runs, but none of them were earned in the loss.
Pruett's team pulled up their socks and fought to take a hard-earned 3-2 win at White County on Thursday. Shortstop Joy Lewis had a stellar afternoon. She went 4-for-4 at the plate, including a clutch double in the fifth inning to stake the Lady Tigers to a 3-0 lead.
Hunsucker's condition is day-to-day. She did not play against White County.
"What a week," said an exasperated Pruett. "You got to hand it to our players, they fought their tails off against White in a big win. Hopefully we will get Emily (Hunsucker) before the region tournament begins."
The Lady Tigers are currently 13-6 and 9-2 in Region 7-AAA play.
In the Sept. 24 home game with the Lady Rebels from Blue Ridge, Dawson County scored three runs in the first inning after two unearned runs were surrendered in the top half of the inning.
Hunsucker and Lewis singled, followed by a walk to Katelynn Simpson to load the bases for Brooke Wende. Wende took the first pitch and lined it up the middle driving in Hunsucker and Lewis.
Wende finished the game with two hits in three attempts and 3 RBI's.
Natalie Glass followed with a single to center that drove in Simpson and gave Dawson a 3-2 advantage.
The Lady Tigers added two more runs in the third behind a double to center by Wende that scored Simpson. Wende added the second run on a passed ball by the Fannin catcher.
Dawson seemed comfortably ahead 5-2, but then the wheels fell of the wagon. Hunsucker went down due to injury and the Lady Tigers couldn't refocus. The team gave up eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings to trail 10-5.
Rogers didn't deserve the fate dealt to her. The senior pitcher allowed five hits over seven innings pitched. Rogers recorded six strikeouts and two walks in the loss. One of those hits was a grand slam off the bat off Lady Rebel clean-up hitter Allie Barfield in the sixth.
"I know Martie was really frustrated," Pruett said. "We obviously had a rough day on defense."
Offensively, Joy Lewis had a great day at the plate with three hits. She also scored two runs.
Lady Tigers Hunsucker, Rogers, Glass and Brittany Phillips also singled.
Dawson County rebounded with a 3-2 win over White County in Cleveland on Thursday.
Pruett and his staff corrected the defensive lapses from the previous game as the Lady Tigers only committed one error in the game.
The Lady Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Tabitha Morrison led off the inning with a walk and then stole second base. With two outs, Lewis took 2-1 pitch and lined the ball to left field scoring Morrison.
Pruett's team added two more runs in the fifth inning. Once again Lewis delivered the big hit driving in Morrison and Sydney McGinnis. McGinnis led off the inning with a walk and Morrison singled.
Great pitching by Rogers preserved the win. Rogers surrendered two singles to open up the sixth inning. Lady Warrior, Mary Ann Luna, then doubled driving in two runs. Rogers buckled down to record the last two outs. Dawson still led 3-2.
In the seventh inning, a walk to White County player Madison Taylor led off the inning. Rogers then struck out Alexis Trigg, the second out was a force at second, and the final out came on a ground ball to Heather Hensley at second as she tossed the ball to first baseman Brooke Wende to end the game.
Rogers recorded six strikeouts in the complete game win, while only giving up four hits.
"This was a big bounce back win for us," Pruett said.
Lewis went 7-for-8 this week for the Lady Tigers.
Also recording hits for Dawson County in Thursday's win were Morrison, Rogers, Simpson and Phillips.
Dawson County has one more regular season game. The team will play host to West Hall on Thursday. Pruett's team defeated the Lady Spartans 16-0 earlier this season.
The Region 7-AAA tournament will begin Saturday at Lanier Point in Gainesville.