Dawson County continued a four-game road trip Aug. 12 as they opened the 7-AAA schedule with a visit to the Greater Atlanta Christian school of Norcross for a game against the regional powerhouse Lady Spartans.
Opening the game with three strikeouts in row set the tone for the evening as the Lady Tigers continued to struggle at the plate, while sophomore Olivia Martinez, in her first year as the starting pitcher, found herself down by one run after giving up a pair of walks in the first inning.
Martinez rallied to strike out the side in the second inning and, along with some solid defense, held the Spartans scoreless in the third, but the Lady Tigers could not find the zone against GAC starter Faith Vento who went on to strike out 12 of 24 batters in her complete game shut-out performance.
Sophomore Bella Henson provided the offensive highlight of the day for Dawson County with a double in the second inning, but the team’s only scoring threat came in the sixth inning when the Lady Tigers strung together a pair of singles and a walk to leave runners stranded at second and third.
Vento picked up her fourth win of the season as the Lady Spartans went on to defeat the Lady Tigers by a final score of 8 – 0, while Martinez, who picked up five strikeouts along the way, took the loss for Dawson County.
Prior to the game, head coach Jimmy Pruett addressed the young nature of both his team and the season as the Lady Tigers continue to search for a sense of unity after the loss of six seniors from last season.
“I think that early in the season, a lot of our girls are still trying to find their way and their role on the team,” Pruett said. “A young team will make mistakes, and hopefully we all can learn from them.”
The fourth and final game of the season opening road trip came against the defending regional champs at East Hall on Aug. 15. Last year’s Lady Vikings went 12-0 in regional play and showed no signs of letting off the gas in 2019 as they quickly jumped in front of the Lady Tigers in their first at-bats and went on to win the game by a final score of 14 – 2.
Martinez opened the game in the circle for Dawson County, but after giving up eight runs over two innings was pulled in favor of freshman Reese Moore, who fared little better, giving up six runs in her single inning of work.
The Lady Tigers offense came to life in the third inning as the team capitalized on a pair of singles and an error to bring two runs across the plate, but overall the Dawson bats were quiet on the afternoon with the team managing only three hits on the day.
“Getting our first region win is very important for us,” Pruett said. “We will have to play well on the road, being so young, I have confidence in our team.”
Dawson County had another opportunity for a regional victory when they played host to their rivals, the Lumpkin County Indians on Monday, Aug. 19. Results were unavailable as of press time.