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Lady Tigers split games
Varsity Softball pic1
Lady Tiger Kaila Billingsley rounds third base headed for home against West Hall. Billingsley scored two runs in the game and went 2-for-3 at the plate, which included a triple. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson County News

Dawson County High School head softball coach Jimmy Pruett's Lady Tigers' softball team split home games last week.

On Sept. 22, Dawson County defeated West Hall, 8-0, before falling 9-3 on Sept. 24 to Region 7-AAA leader Banks County.

The game against West Hall High School was shortened to five innings due to the GHSA mercy rule.

The Lady Tigers pounded nine hits in five innings to pick up the big region win over West Hall.

Dawson County scored runs in each inning except the first.

Leading the offense was Tabitha Morrison, who blasted a fourth-inning homerun.

Getting multi-hits were Kaila Billingsley, Brandy Torres and Maggie Schandera with two hits each.

Torres also had two RBIs in the victory.

Also picking up hits were Natalie Glass and Katelynn Simpson (triple).

Pruett commented on his team's offense: "Tabitha Morrison, Maggie Schandera, Natalie Glass, Sydney McGinnis and Katelynn Simpson are all hitting well. Some others girls have started to hit also."

Schandera, a freshman, recorded the win from the circle.

She pitched a complete game with five strikeouts and a walk in five innings of work.

"She (Schandera) is doing a good job. Maggie throws strikes and pitches to contact very well, we just have to make routine plays," Pruett said.

In the game against Banks County, the Lady Tigers got off to an auspicious start with five errors in the first inning that led to four unearned runs by the Lady Leopards.

"Both sides had errors," Pruett said. "But we can't give up five errors, especially in the first inning. We have to play better all-around in the infield. On a positive note our outfield defense may be the best in the region."

The outfield includes Morrison, Sydney McGinnis and Heather Brady against Banks County.

"I wish I knew how to fix it. Maybe people trying too hard, maybe unsure of ourselves, maybe inexperience," Pruett said. "The first inning errors totally set the tone. The errors kept snowballing downhill, until Banks had four runs, all unearned."

Dawson responded with a run in the bottom of the first on two Banks County errors.

The Lady Tigers picked up another run in the fourth inning on a home run by Morrison that cut the Banks County lead to 4-2.

Pruett's squad scored a run in the fifth inning to trim the score to 4-3.

The Lady Tigers had three hits in the inning by Schandera, Glass and McGinnis.

Schandera scored the run on a RBI single by McGinnis.

But the Lady Leopards plated five runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach.

Once again errors plagued Dawson County.

The Lady Tigers committed three errors that allowed Banks County to keep the inning alive and take a 9-3 advantage.

The Lady Tigers are currently in fifth place in Region 7-AAA.

The team played Franklin County at home yesterday in the final home game of the season.

Pruett and his staff honored five seniors: Morrison, Brittany Griggs, Brady, Katelynn Simpson and Brandy Torres.

Injuries have plagued the Lady Tigers over the last three weeks.

Absent this week from games was Skylar Caine, who has a concussion.

Heather Brady played her first game on Thursday in almost two weeks. Brady has been out with an appendectomy.

In Brady's first game back she suffered a concussion sliding into second base. The injury kept Brady out till last week's game.

"Hopefully Skylar (Caine) will be back next week. Having Heather (Brady) back is great she is just a solid player. She played well for her first game back," Pruett said.