Just in time for the beginning of region play, the Dawson County Lady Tigers softball team won their first two games of the season on back-to-back nights, with a 10-6 win over Lumpkin County, followed by a 12-7 win over North Hall on Thursday, Aug. 27.
“It’s important to get hot at any time,” Lady Tigers head coach Justin Rickett said after Thursday’s game. “Every game matters and every game is important. We’ve got to find a way to scratch and claw and win these close games. We weren’t in close games to start the season but now we’re learning how to be in those close games and win those.”
Sophomore Layne Bailey started both games in the circle for the Lady Tigers, getting the win against Lumpkin and pitching five strong innings against North Hall. Bailey also sent two balls over the fence for home runs, one in each game. She drove in five runs combined.
“She’s an athletic kid with a good bat,” Rickett said. “She’s got some bop and puts pressure on the opposing defense right away.”
Additionally, Micah Burruss performed well in both games, driving in five runs. She leads the team with 11 runs batted in as a freshman. Senior Olivia Martinez drove in three runs in the two wins as well.
“It’s nice to score runs,” Rickett said. “We’re getting much better at bats and we’re learning. The theme the whole time has been to get better every game and we’re doing that.”
The two win region wins come on the heels of a season-opening nine game losing streak for the Lady Tigers in Rickett’s first season as Dawson County’s head coach. Through the growing pains, he said he remained confident that the girls would start tallying up wins.
“When we’re getting people on, over and in,” Rickett said. “Also, when we’re playing clean defense. Even in our two wins, we haven’t really been what I would call super clean. But like I just told them, they are finding a way to win and that’s the important takeaway.”
The Lady Tigers (2-9, 2-2 in Region 7-3A) sit in fourth place in the region following the back-to-back wins. They will be busy week next week with four region games in a row, starting on Monday, Aug. 30 at White County High School (9-1).