Despite a gallant effort the Dawson County Lady Tiger softball season came to an end on Saturday. The team lost to Lovett 1-0 in a losers bracket game to finish its season with an 18-13 overall record. Earlier in the year, Dawson pulled out a 3-2 win over Lovett, was unable to do the same Saturday. Lovett scored its only run in the first inning. The Lady Lions leadoff hitter walked, stole second, advanced to third on a bunt and scored on a hit. Lady Tiger pitcher Cheyenne Bennett only surrendered two hit’s the entire contest. “Cheyenne pitched good enough to win,” said Dawson County High School head softball coach Jimmy Pruett. “We just couldn’t get a run in even though we had a couple of chances,” he added. The Lady Tigers had two chances with runners in scoring position and couldn’t drive in a run. A perfect example was in the seventh inning with runners on second and third base, the Lady Tigers couldn’t come up with a clutch hit. “I’m so proud of these girls,” Pruett said. “We could have easily quit after Friday nights game, but they fought back and had a chance to advance to the final eight. By looking at the other teams in the tournament, I felt our team was as good as anybody there. The bracket we were in was very favorable, but we just couldn’t come up with a clutch hit.” Dawson began the state sectionals on Friday at Heritage Pointe in Dalton with a 3-1 loss to Calhoun, who is ranked #2 in the state in AA. The loss put Dawson in the losers bracket. Pruett’s squad held a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning only to see it get away from them. The team still had a chance when Kayla Grizzle lined a shot off the fence for a double to start the sixth inning. Unfortunately, Grizzle was left stranded on second. In the final inning, Kimberly Wallace led off with a hard line drive base hit. Wallace was doubled up when Brea Haygood hit a shot at the Lady Yellow Jacket shortstop, who preceded to fire a bullet over to first base, catching Wallace off the bag. Once again, Bennett pitched a strong game, despite being sick, allowing only three hits by Calhoun. The Lady Tigers fought back to rout Callaway, #2-seed out of Region 5-AA, by a 5-1 score on Saturday morning. No team from Region 8-AA qualified for the Elite Eight state finals to be held in Columbus this weekend. East Jackson, Jefferson, North Oconee and Dawson County were all eliminated. Heading to state out of the North Sectionals will be three teams from Region 6-AA. Buford, #1-ranked team, Blessed Trinity, defending AAA state champions, and Lovett all qualified. The fourth team will be Calhoun out of Region 5-AA. “We really had a surprising season,” Pruett commented. “Our players really improved as the year went along. It was a surprising season in a positive way. Our girls really got better on defense and that helped us to win a lot of games. We came a long way.” Pruett also has to say goodbye to two seniors, Brea Haygood and Kayla Grizzle. “I will miss these two girls. They were a tremendous asset to our team this year. These two were part of the reason we got so much better. They played two critical positions for us with Kayla behind the plate and Brea at third base. They will be hard to replace,” he said.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at email@example.com.