LEESBURG, Ga. - When the Alcovy Lady Tigers traveled on Tuesday to face Lee County in the first round of the state playoffs, the odds were stacked against them to advance. But the Lady Tigers didn’t play like it.
Despite losing the two games 5-2 and 10-1, respectively, Alcovy displayed great effort until the very end.
Its effort impressed head coach Miranda Lamb.
“They stayed focused for the full game,” Lamb said. “Honestly, I didn’t think they would, especially if we got down early, but they did. I was excited about that. They competed well and I’m so proud of them for doing that.”
The Lady Tigers’ determination was evident in game 1.
Trailing 5-0 going into the final inning, Alcovy could’ve just quit, but it didn’t.
With two outs already against the Lady Tigers, Kayla Lovelace came to the plate. She had a 2-1 count when she hit a line drive double that scored Makinzie Johnson.
Lexie McDonald followed that up with an RBI single to score Alcovy’s second run of the first game.
Game 1 ended an at-bat later and Lee County had the game advantage.
Alcovy’s grit carried over to game 2, though.
This time, Lee County held a 1-0 lead all the way into the fourth inning. Then, in the bottom half of the fourth, Alcovy got on the board.
It was Johnson who batted in Kaitlyn Williams to knot things up at one apiece.
From that moment on, however, Lee County seemed to find its stride.
It scored five runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth inning resulting in a lopsided defeat for Alcovy.
Nevertheless, the Lady Tigers’ heart could not be questioned when all was said and done.
Lamb took note of that as something to help build for the future, especially with the underclassmen.
“[The underclassmen] are buying into what we’re coaching out there,” Lamb said. “They have a competitive side to them where they really don’t want to lose. As they mature, I think that’ll be able to be seen more.”
After qualifying for the state playoffs the first time in five seasons, Alcovy’s goal now is working to get back there.
Once the team takes some time off, the Lady Tigers will hit the ground running preparing for 2022.
For Lamb and the coaching staff, there won’t be any major changes to how they approach next season. It’ll be honing on the minor things that make a huge impact in a game.
“I want to get some strength and conditioning in there this offseason,” Lamb said. “But, I just really want to push the small things, because those ultimately lead to the big things.”