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Newton softball goes scoreless in back-to-back games
Newton's Grace Dial rushes to first base in Thursday's game against Grayson. - photo by Mariya Lewter

The Newton Rams softball team dropped its second game in a row on Thursday after falling 16-0 to Region 8-AAAAAAA opponent Grayson in the second night of back-to-back games.

Much like in Wednesday’s game against Eastside, where they lost 7-0, the Rams made plenty of small errors, which ultimately cost them the game.

“Our biggest flaws tonight were our errors, just like last night,” coach Shandria Usher said after the game. “It’s all about their mentality. We have to get more focused. We have to put in a little bit more work in practice. We’ve been slacking in practice, and we have to work harder, and that’s mainly what we spoke about in the huddle. Just practice a little bit harder.”

In the second inning, Grayson jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Brinaya Bailey, Allie Head and Maya Figueroa snuck their way to home plate off four hits. Newton got three quick outs in the bottom of the second, sending the game -- and the momentum -- back to Grayson.

In the top of the third, the Grayson Rams scored eight runs off nine hits. They played every batter in their rotation, with four getting two at-bats before the game was sent to the bottom of the inning.

Newton then switched from the game’s starting pitcher Brittney Ellis to Grace Dial, who limited Grayson to just one hit and zero runs in the fourth inning, but the visitors scored five more in the fifth to put the ballgame far out of reach.
The Rams had zero hits and five strikeouts in the game, while Grayson notched 18 hits and no strikeouts. According to Usher, Newton has several small areas to improve on to be able to convert.

“They need to work on communication,” she said. “We have spots all over the field that needs work. So it’s communication, knowing where to go with the ball, being a little bit more aggressive, wanting to get the out, hitting your cuts, and small things like that. We just have to work on the small things, like taking your first step back or hitting your cut.”

Newton, whose only win this season came in a region matchup against South Gwinnett, will resume play Tuesday at Archer High School. The team will be able to turn things around once they begin to work harder, said Usher.

“We just have to learn to work together,” Usher said. “I feel like once the girls get comfortable in their positions and once they realize how much work it’s actually going to take to be a winning team, that’s when they’re going to realize that they’re ready. It’s all about that mentality and wanting it. They have to find it within themselves, and they have to have a little bit more heart, more drive. That’s what I’m looking for in the next game.”