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Vikings slam the door on Tigers
Softball season hits a snag with loss to East Hall
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Senior Maggie Schandera pitches against East Hall. - photo by Bob Christian

The Dawson County High School softball team took to the diamond for a match-up against the defending region champs, the East Hall County Vikings, Aug. 16, ending with a 12-7 loss for the Tigers.

With Maggie Schandera on the mound for the Lady Tigers, the Vikings came to the plate and started the scoring almost immediately after a lead off double. Following up with a pair of singles and aided by an infield error from the Tigers, the Vikings put two quick runs on the board in the first inning.

East Hall’s Macy Banks stood tall in the circle for the Vikings and made quick work of the Tigers behind a powerful fast ball.

Starting the second inning by putting their lead runner on base again, this time on a single, the Vikings began the process of moving the runner around the bases aided once more by a series of infield errors by the Tigers. After driving in the one runner, and with two outs left in the inning, the Vikings managed to load the bases for Kaitlyn Daniels who sent a towering shot over the center field wall for her first career grand slam and sending the score to 8 – 0 with one swing of the bat.

The Tigers' bats came alive in the bottom of the second with a deep RBI double off the bat of Tori Martin and another double from Lauren Tow, driving in Martin to bring two runs across the plate before the Vikings grabbed the third out, leaving the score at 8 – 2 as the teams headed into the third.

The Vikings added another run during their time at the plate to bring their total to 9 and the Lady Tigers responded with one of their own off a solo home-run from Bella Henson leaving the Vikings lead at 6 but changing the score to 9 – 3.

Abigail Brown of the East Hall Vikings got in on the home run, hitting with a solo shot of her own to lead off the fourth inning and bring the score to 10 – 3 in favor of the Vikings. After those fireworks both pitchers settled down and, together, retired the next seven batters to bring the game into the fifth inning.

Another infield error allowed East Hall to add an 11th run to the board in the top of the fifth as the Vikings extended their lead to 8 and placed the Lady Tigers in danger of losing due to the run rule.

The bottom of the fifth proved to be the high point of the game for the Lady Tigers as their bats finally came to life with back-to-back to back singles to load the bases with no outs. After a quick throw by a Vikings catcher picked Carol Drake off third and another single to reload the bases, the Tigers began the business of bringing home runners.

A bases loaded walk brought home the first run, followed by a sacrifice fly from Tori Martin for another, ending with a two RBI single from Brea Crane and the Tigers managed to put four runs on the board before the Vikings could shut down the inning, bringing the score to 11 for the Vikings and 7 for the Tigers as the game moved into the final innings.

Keeping the Tigers in a position to come back, Schandera quickly retired the Vikings in order in the sixth, but the Tigers were unable to capitalize in their plate appearances and the seventh inning began with the score remaining Vikings 11, Tigers 7.

Coming to the plate for the East Hall Vikings as the lead-off batter was  Daniels who, with her earlier grand slam, was responsible for a four-run lead being enjoyed by her team, and on the second pitch of the inning she once again showed off her power putting the ball over the fence for her second home run of the game, this one a solo shot to bring the score to 12 – 7 and putting a final nail in the day’s game.

As the Tigers came to bat for the final time it was apparent that they had not given up the fight, putting together a couple of singles and the beginnings of a rally. Unfortunately, the rally fell short behind a suddenly resurgent fast ball from the Vikings pitcher and the Lady Tigers were not able to bring anymore runs across the plate.

“We hit a good pitcher really well,” said Head Coach Jimmy Pruett after the game. “I couldn’t be any more proud of how the girls played today.”

The Lady Tigers also traveled to Dahlonega Aug. 20 to take on the Lumpkin County High School Indians. The Tigers took a hit with a final score of 8-5 with the Indians coming out on top. 

The Tigers travelled to play Greater Atlanta Christian on Tuesday but results were not available as of press time.