Dawson County High School Head Softball Coach Jimmy Pruett and his Lady Tiger softball team are headed to the State Sectional Tournament in Dalton.
Dawson County defeated Banks County 3-1 Friday afternoon to earn their place in the tournament.
The Lady Tigers (17-11) will go into the tournament as the No. 4-seed, after losing in a re-match with Jefferson 2-0 on Saturday.
“We are in the tournament and that’s where we wanted to be,” said Pruett. “Our girls have worked hard for this chance.”
Dawson County will play Region 7-AA champion Calhoun in the first round on Friday night in Dalton at Heritage Pointe Softball Complex.
“From what I’ve heard Calhoun is very good,” said Pruett.
Calhoun comes into the game with a 28-4 record and are the No. 1-ranked team in the state in AA.
The seeds in 8-AA are: No. 1-East Jackson (for the second year in a row); No. 2-Jefferson; No. 3-North Oconee; and No. 4-Dawson County.
Earlier last week, the Lady Tiger softball team advanced to the second round of the Region 8-AA tournament with a 3-2 win over Jefferson (12-14) on Tuesday afternoon.
The victory was revenge for an earlier 4-0 loss to the Lady Dragons on Sept. 18.
Pruett’s team was not so fortunate in its next game against top-seeded North Oconee later that evening.
The Lady Tigers were “run-ruled” in six innings 8-0 by the Lady Titans.
Lady Tiger Cheyenne Bennett pitched a masterful game against Jefferson.
Bennett carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before being relieved by Sydney Cox after three straight hits and two runs by Jefferson.
Cox closed out the game getting the win.
“Cheyenne was superb,” Pruett said. “She got a little tired in the last inning, but Sydney came in to help secure the win.”
Bennett had seven strikeouts.
Kara Perry (10-8) suffered the loss for Jefferson, allowing eight hits and striking out three.
Of those eight hits given up by Perry, five were doubles by Dawson County.
Kimberly Wallace (run), Tiffany Rowan (run), Kayla Grizzle, Cox and Amanda Gravitt all had doubles for the Lady Tigers. Dana Edwards, courtesy runner for Bennett, scored the other Dawson run.
“We played great against Jefferson,” said Pruett. “Our girls came ready to play.”
The game against North Oconee (20-2) in the nightcap was full of errors and mental mistakes for Dawson County in the 8-0 loss.
Lady Titan pitcher Ali Watson recorded six strikeouts and allowed only two hits.
The Lady Titans pounded out 11 hits against Dawson County.
Pruett remarked, “We may have been a little intimidated by North Oconee. But we have to put that game behind us and get ready for tomorrow’s game. That game is very important.”
Bennett pitched a great game against Banks County. The win put Dawson into the next round in a re-match with Jefferson.
This time Jefferson came out on the winning side with a 2-0 victory. The Lady Tigers only managed two hits, both by Sydney Cox, with one hit coming in the first inning and the second coming in the seventh.
“We will be ready to play this weekend,” said Pruett. “Our players have fought all year and you never know what will happen in the tournament.”
E-mail Pam Jacobs at email@example.com.