Lady Tigers' seniors Kristi Hyams, Anna Torres, Kimberly Wallace and Morgan Huber played their last games as Dawson County High School varsity softball players Thursday at Jack Waldrip Field in Dawsonville.
Dawson County was eliminated from the first round of state sectionals by a very gritty team from Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe. The final score Thursday was 11-2.
Despite losing the best out of three series, Dawson finished the season with a 21-11 record and a second place seed in Region 8-AA.
"These girls have nothing to be ashamed of," said Lady Tigers Head Coach Jimmy Pruett. "I am going to hate to see them go. They have given everything to this program during their career here. It will be tough to replace them next season."
Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe (22-10) competes in Region 7-AA and came in third place.
Region 7-AA is very competitive as is evident in first round action. Only Fannin County advanced to the second round of sectionals, after defeating Dade County.
Union County and North Oconee were defeated and saw their seasons come to an end. Union was the #1-seed in Region 8-AA but was beaten by second-year school North Murray.
Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe will now advance to play Greater Atlanta Christian School.
GACS is the #1-seed out of Region 6-AA.
Despite threatening weather, Dawson pulled out a 4-3 win in the first game of the series. Late inning heroics by Kristi Hyams contributed to the win.
With the score tied 3-3, Hyams singled home Kimberly Wallace with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The dugout exploded with the big hit.
Dawson jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
Wallace started the inning with a double to left centerfield. Jenna Abbott walked. Taylor Shirley came on to pinch run for Abbott. Back-to-back hits and RBIs by Martie Rogers and Hyams plated both Wallace and Shirley.
The Lady Warriors answered in the fourth inning with a run that trimmed Dawson's lead to 2-1.
Pruett's team responded with a matching run in the bottom of the inning.
Abbott doubled with one out. Once again Shirley came on to run for the junior hitter.
Rogers followed with her second RBI of the contest with a hit to right field that scored Shirley from second base. The score was 3-1 in Dawson's favor.
Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe scored runs in both the sixth and seventh innings off Lady Tigers starter Jenna Abbott. Eventually the visitors tied the score at 3-3. Both runs were unearned as errors haunted Dawson County all day.
Wallace had a huge game at the plate. The senior went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a double.
Abbott also went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double.
Shortstop Samantha Moulder had a big day at the plate with two singles.
Abbott picked up the win on the mound. She pitched a complete game and recorded four strikeouts.
Thirty minutes later game two started.
The Lady Tigers bats went silent. The team picked up only five hits in the 2-0 loss.
"We just couldn't get any back to back hits," Pruett said. "I think we got a little frustrated."
Both Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe runs were scored on throwing errors by Dawson County.
The Lady Tigers had five errors in the game, leading to the loss.
Picking up singles were Wallace, Rogers, Abbott, Carly Gilreath and Morgan Huber.
Game three was much of the same for Dawson.
Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead.
The Lady Tigers fought back and trimmed the lead to 3-2. Unfortunately the Lady Warriors exploded offensively and scored eight more runs to come away with the 11-2 victory and advance to round two of the state playoffs.
"I think we had a great year. We are all disappointed it had to come to an end. I thought our players battled but we just came up a little short," Pruett said.