The school year is beginning and with it so is our Dawson County Lady Tiger softball team. The Tigers dropped their first game of the year to the Sonoraville Phoenix 8-0 on Thursday in a game that was called after five innings.
Junior Reese Moore got the opening day start this year and started the game off right with a first pitch groundout. However, the Sonoraville batters woke up after that, scoring five runs in the first inning. Moore pitched three more innings, with the second being a comfortable 1-2-3 inning, but gave up a two-run home run in the third.
By the time that Moore was pulled from the game, the Lady Tigers were staring at an 8-0 deficit. Sophomore Layne Bailey pitched well in two innings of relief work, allowing three hits and striking out two. The defense played well throughout, including a nice catch by senior Rylie Erickson to set up a double play to end the fifth.
The offense suffered for the Lady Tigers. Sonoraville’s Taylor Long pitched a perfect game, striking out all 15 batters she faced.
Despite the lackluster performance, Dawson County’s new softball coach Justin Rickett had positive things to say about his squad.
“When you run up against an arm like [Long’s, that’s just tough,” Rickett said. “That’s a kid who struck out 600 girls in high school and that’s quite an accomplishment. First game of the year is tough. We got a long way to go. We got 29 more.”
The game started with a moment of silence for Connor Luke Hayes, the late son of Sonoraville coach Chad Hayes who died of cancer earlier this year. The Tigers announced that a portion of the game’s ticket sales and concession sales would be donated towards the CL Strong foundation, dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.
The Lady Tigers will get a chance to rebound in a friendly tournament at Union County High School on Saturday, Aug. 7. Their first game starts at 12 p.m.