What. A. Game.
Eastside softball trailed for most of the game, though not by much. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Eagles had to get some runs with the top of their order up to bat.
Ashleigh Williams popped out to begin the inning, but Catlin Ray gave her team a huge momentum swing with a shot to deep right-center over the fence for a home run that brought the Lady Eagles to within two scores.
Brittany Medlin followed with a single and the cheers roared from inside the Eastside dugout. McKenzie Powell would pop out leaving Medlin on base. However, Bailey Stewart had a huge hit that traveled to deep in center field and back toward the fence for a double that scored Medlin. A strikeout ended the inning, but the Lady Eagles had the momentum.
North Oconee would get a runner on first due to a Lady Eagles error, but Eastside got out of the inning safely with a chance to tie or take a lead to win the game.
A strikeout began the inning, but then Madison McCrorey walked and Taylor Baggett followed with a two-strike double to right-center that put two runners in scoring position. Another strikeout gave Eastside two outs in a dire situation.
Ray would walk to load the bases and it was up to Medlin. Medlin got down early in the count 1-2, and ended up looking at a third strike and North Oconee won the ball game in a heartbreaking loss for the Lady Eagles that ended their season and a chance to go to Columbus to play in the elite eight.
A valiant effort from Eastside wasn’t enough and the Lady Eagles fell to the Lady Titans, 3-2. Eastside’s final two innings were set up by a stagnant first five innings that saw the Lady Eagles consistently swinging at high pitches as the Lady Eagles were retired in order in the second, third and fifth innings.
“We should have done a lot better at the plate. We’ve seen this pitcher throw multiple innings. We were not disciplined in the beginning which I think had an effect on the game and them gaining the momentum early in the game, but overall just disappointed for the girls and wishing things would’ve turned out differently,” Heather Wood, Eastside head coach, said.
“It’s disappointing to get this far and to play a team that I know we’re capable of beating and to come this close. These girls have worked so hard and for us to not come through at the end it is disappointing.”