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SOFTBALL: Lady Tigers come back to win game two; force Sweet 16 tiebreaker
Anslee Kirby.jpg
Anslee Kirby takes a swing during the first round of the 2021 GHSA 3A softball state tournament. - photo by Jacob Smith

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the Dawson County High School Lady Tigers softball team traveled to Tattnall County High School where the would play in a best-of-three series for a spot in the GHSA 3A softball state tournament in Columbus, Ga. on Oct. 28-30. 

Game one was scoreless for the first three and a half innings, but Tattnall County plated three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. They would hold that lead until the final inning of game one, when all momentum shifted back to the Lady Tigers. 

Senior Annslee Kirby led the inning off with a single up the middle, for her second hit of the game (a game-high). On the very next pitch, junior Reese Moore sent a line drive to the left field fence for a double that would score junior Emily Kurtz, the courtesy runner for Kirby, the catcher. 

With one out, freshman Ace Cochran sent a line drive to left field that would drive Moore in, making it a 3-2 game, with Cochran the tying run. However, the Lady Tigers could not plate Cochran, losing the first game. 

Sophomore Layne Bailey pitched the entirety of game one for the Lady Tigers, striking out four and allowing five hits through six innings of work. 

Needing to win game two to force a tiebreaker on Wednesday, Oct. 21, Lady Tigers head coach Justin Rickett sent Layne Bailey back out onto the mound. Tattnall County took a quick 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning, but Dawson County refused to throw in the towel. 

The Lady Tigers plated four runs in the third inning, with freshman Micah Burruss and senior Olivia Martinez both driving in runs. After holding Tattnall scoreless in the top of the fourth, junior Lauren Kurtz drove in two runs on a base hit to take the 6-4 lead, Dawson County’s first lead in either game. 

Tattnall County would make a run, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh, but a key insurance run by Dawson County in the bottom of the sixth netted the Lady Tigers a game two victory to tie the series 1-1. 

Bailey once again threw a complete game victory for the Lady Tigers, striking out seven and allowing six hits. In 13 innings, Bailey walked only three batters, all of which were in game two. 

The two teams will square off for the last time on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Tattnall County High School, starting at 4 p.m. The winner will advance to the GHSA 3A softball state tournament, where the top eight teams in each GHSA classification will battle it out.