On Senior Night for the Dawson County softball team, all of the fundamentals looked improved in an 8-2 win over Rabun County Thursday night.
A four-run third inning and a home run by Micah Burruss highlighted an evening that culminated with the recognition of the team’s five seniors.
Kirsten Butler, CeCe Gonzalez, Lauren Kurtz, Calleigh Lamb and Reese Moore were all recognized after the game for their service to the team over the years.
A total of 11 hits and several key defensive plays by the Lady Tigers fueled the team to its third victory of the season.
“I thought we did a really good job,” head coach Justin Rickett said. “I was happy [because] Senior Night is hard with all the extra going on. It was nice for them to focus and find a way to get it done.”
An early score by Rabun did not deter the hosts as the defense made some key plays early on. Second baseman Lamb showed her quick instincts by catching a sharp line drive before tossing over to first base to complete a double play.
Freshman catcher Avery Heidt had some highlights of her own, diving to catch a short pop fly behind her early in the game before throwing out a batter at second base later on.
But it was the offense that shone the most, with Burruss leading the way with three hits and three runs batted in. Three other players had multiple-hit games to help the Lady Tigers give the seniors a night to remember.
For Rickett, the timeliness of those hits proved to be crucial against Rabun and will continue to be important as the Lady Tigers seek to qualify for the region tournament.
“It’s always nice to get hits with runners in scoring position,” Rickett said. “We’ve got to get those big hits and it's important when we get them. We protected the lead and played well with the lead.”
Rickett believes that the current group of seniors has helped the otherwise youthful team adjust to competition, improve their skills and understand expectations.
“They’ve done a great job of being here and being a good example for our younger ones,” Rickett said. “When you are so young in other places, it’s nice when [those players] have somebody to ask what’s going on and to help out.”
While the seniors were celebrated after the Rabun game, they will have a few more chances to play this season. There are four games remaining in the regular season — three against region teams and two at home.