The Dawson County High School varsity Lady Tiger softball team advanced to the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs with a sweep of Woodward Academy in Atlanta Oct. 10.
Coach Jimmy Pruett's team run-ruled Woodward in five innings. The Lady Tigers took the first game by a score of 9-1 before taking the second game by a 5-3 score.
Up next for Dawson County will be Class AAA powerhouse Ringgold.
Ringgold defeated North Oconee in three games to host the next round.
The games will be a best of three series and will start at 4 p.m. tomorrow at Ringgold.
If the two teams split Wednesday's games, then the deciding game will be played tomorrow. It will also be in Ringgold.
Ringgold is the No. 1-seed out of Region 5-AAA.
Dawson County shook off any nerves with three runs in the top of the first inning.
Carly Gilreath led off the inning with a walk.
Second batter Tabitha Morrison was hit by an 0-1 pitch, putting runners on first and second.
An error allowed Jenna Abbott to reach first. Taylor Shirley came on to pinch run.
Clean-up hitter Joy Lewis then delivered with a hit that scored both Gilreath and Morrison.
Samantha Moulder then singled, driving in Shirley to take a quick 3-0 lead.
Woodward answered in the bottom of the first with the team's lone run of the game.
The Lady Tigers scored two runs in the third inning, one run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to nail down the victory.
Moulder had a huge game at the plate for her team. She went 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Lewis also contributed with two hits in three at-bats.
"It was big for our bats to come alive like that," Pruett said. "We really needed to do something at the plate and it carried over into both games."
Pruett said that his team's defense made a big difference in the outcomes of the games.
Dawson County didn't make an error in either game.
"We were strong on defense. The girls did a great job of making the easy plays and making good decisions," he said.
Also picking up hits in the first game were Morrison and Kenna Seitz.
The Lady Tigers had four sacrifice hits in the ball game. Those were recorded by: Gilreath, Emily Hunsucker, Martie Rogers and Seitz.
Abbott picked up the win on the mound. She went five innings and recorded nine strikeouts while only walking one.
The second game was a little closer.
Dawson County took a 4-3 lead into the fifth inning.
A lone fifth inning run sealed the win and advanced the Lady Tigers to the second round.
The big inning for Dawson County was the third.
With one out, Gilreath connected on the second homerun of her career, to give the Lady Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Morrison followed with a single.
Abbott stepped to the plate and took an 0-2 pitch over the outfield fence, scoring Morrison and giving Dawson County a 4-1 advantage.
Woodward bounced back with two runs in the top of the third to close the gap to 4-3.
Martie Rogers was strong on the mound for the Lady Tigers. She pitched six innings. She surrendered two hits and recorded three strike outs and gave up three walks.
Rogers got into some trouble in the top of the seventh. The junior hurler gave up a double and a walk, putting runners on first and second with no outs.
Pruett decided to bring Abbott on in relief.
Abbott mowed down the final three batters and secured the win for the Lady Tigers.
Rogers recorded the win and Abbott picked up a save.
The Lady Tigers had seven hits in the contest.
Gilreath and Moulder had two hits apiece. Single hits were recorded by: Abbott (homer), Morrison and Lewis.
The Dawson County pitchers only gave up three hits combined in both games.