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Lady Tigers advance to Sweet Sixteen
S-Varsity Softball pic1
Lady Tiger Brooke Wende crosses home plate, scoring a run against East Jackson. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

The Lady Tigers' varsity softball game Thursday may go down as the most thrilling ever played at Jack Waldrip Field.

Coach Jimmy Pruett's Lady Tigers rallied from a 9-6 deficit headed into the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 10-9 win and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

After splitting a doubleheader on Wednesday, losing the first game 9-7, but rallying to take a 4-3 victory in the second game, the team forced the final game of the best of three series to be played on Thursday.

The game got off to a horrible start as the East Jackson Lady Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 first inning lead. Things looked bad for Dawson County.

"Our girls just hung in there and didn't quit," Pruett said.

The Lady Tigers only allowed one more run, in the fourth inning. Dawson County scored one run in the fifth inning and four runs in the sixth inning to make the score 9-6.

Then the excitement began. With one out in the seventh inning, the Lady Tigers began their unbelievable comeback.

Katelynn Simpson began the rally with a one-out single to center field. Natalie Glass followed with a single between shortstop and third base that put runners on first and second base.

Hannah McConnell drew a walk, loading the bases. A clutch hit by Anela Melton drove in Simpson to trim the score to 9-7. Lead-off hitter, Emily Hunsucker singled past the first baseman to load the bases again.

Sydney McGinnis hit a screaming line drive off the East Jackson pitcher that scored Glass and made the score 9-8.

Stepping to the plate was Joy Lewis. Lewis, who has been a clutch player all year for Dawson County, hit a walk-off double that scored two runs and the win.

"I'm in shock. We had some people who may have left after being down by eight, but our girls got off the deck and came through for us," Pruett said.

With the win, Dawson County advanced to play a stubborn Cedartown team from Region 5-AAA. The Lady Bulldogs are coached by Jessica Sanders and finished as the No. 2 team from their region.

The Lady Bulldogs have a 25-9 overall record.

Cedartown swept a doubleheader from Sonoraville, 1-0 and 13-4, to reach the second round.
The likely starting pitcher for Cedartown will be sophomore Ava Tillman. Tillman notched 11 strikeouts the two wins against Sonoraville.

Hitters to watch are Hayden Claypool, Harleigh Christian and Maddie Bowman, who hit a home run against the Lady Phoenix last week.

Dawson County is currently 19-5-1 overall.

The teams will play a doubleheader in Dawsonville today with games starting at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The "if" game will be played at 5:3- p.m. tomorrow.

Winner of this round will advance to the Elite Eight in Columbus. Play will begin Oct. 30.