Freshman Maggie Schandera singled to drive in teammate Kaila Billingsley in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Dawson County High School varsity Lady Tigers softball team a come from behind 7-6 win over visiting Franklin County Oct. 1.
"It was a huge win for us. A big win before the region tournament is very important," said head coach Jimmy Pruett. "Maggie felt no pressure in that situation, she has been doing a great job for us this year."
With the win, Pruett's squad secured home field advantage in the first round of the region playoffs.
The Lady Tigers finished fourth in Region 7-AAA.
Dawson County played Monday with a double header against East Hall. Results were not available as of press time.
Dawson County is 0-3 this season against the Lady Vikings.
"We have to hit to beat East Hall," Pruett said. "East Hall's pitcher has been tough on us this season. If we can get on the board early, it would really help. Our defense will have to make plays also."
If the Lady Tigers can win two of three games they will qualify for the state playoffs.
The Oct. 1 game saw Dawson County fall behind 3-0 after one inning of play.
Pitcher Natalie Glass settled down after the first two innings. The junior allowed five hits in the two innings and only two more over the next six innings of play.
The Lady Tigers finally got on the scoreboard with a run in the fifth inning.
Heather Brady led off the inning with a double and crossed the plate on a grounder by Schandera to shortstop.
Dawson County trimmed the Lady Lion lead to 3-2 in the sixth.
With one out, Sydney McGinnis reached first base after being hit by a pitch.
A single by Tabitha Morrison put runners on first and second base.
McGinnis scored on a two-out RBI single by Kaila Billingsley.
Franklin County extended its lead to 4-2 in the seventh inning.
But Dawson County responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the score and send the game to extra innings.
Schandera, with one out, walked to put a runner on first.
The freshman then swiped second base to get into scoring position.
Glass then reached base on an error by Lady Lion third baseman Lindsey South that allowed Schandera to score.
McGinnis then hit an RBI double to left field that drove in Glass.
Things looked bleak for the Lady Tigers in the top of the eighth inning.
The Lady Lions from Carnesville scored two runs on two Dawson County errors to give them a 6-4 lead.
Pruett's team just wouldn't quit.
Runs by Morrison, Simpson and the winning run by Billingsley gave Dawson County the win.
Billingsley and Schandera had RBIs in the inning.
Glass finished the game with four strikeouts and only two walks to pick up the win from the mound.
"Natalie (Glass), pitched well after taking a few games off, she has pitched a lot of innings, and I think the time off did her well," Pruett said.
Billingsley led the team in hitting with two singles in four at bats.
She also had two RBIs and a run. The junior catcher also threw out a Lady Lion runner in the second inning.
"Kaila (Billingsley) has been good all year. She had the two big hits for us and she comes to work every day," he said.
The Lady Tigers had eight total hits in the game.
It was also senior night on Jack Waldrip Field. Pruett and his staff honored five senior players: Morrison, Brittany Griggs, Brady, Simpson, Brandy Torres and manager Hailey Yother.
Dawson County is now 8-12 overall and 6-6 in region play.