LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga - In a battle for sole possession of second place, the Newton Rams fell on the road to the Archer Tigers by a score of 5-0.
The Rams did load the bases with two outs in their final at-bat, but being down five runs at such a late stage of the ball game made for a tough come back.
The Rams Hayden Pearson started off the game as her usual dominant self and was in control for the vast majority of the game. Pearson capped off her night with a full six innings pitched, while allowing five runs and only two earned on seven hits and five walks.
The most troubling stat on Pearson's stat line has to be the five walks because free bases are never a good thing as they often lead to runs.
The free bases, however, did not just stop with Pearson's approach from the mound. The Rams also had four errors on the night, which led to the majority of the runs that the Tigers scored.
At the conclusion of the Rams most recent region match, head coach Virginia Tucker-Smith said that if they continued to play clean defensive games, they would control their own destiny and get another shot at Grayson in the region tournament.
A step back defensively definitely occurred in this game and they know they will have to clean up their defensive efforts if they hope to make a postseason run.
The Rams will also need to improve on their hitting. With the same amount of hits as errors, it goes without saying that if you cannot hit, then you will most likely not score. Only four hits makes for a tough offensive night and ultimately kept the Rams out of the ball game.
With two region matches looming for the Rams and three for the Tigers, the battle for second place could come down to a tiebreaker. The Rams remaining matches are against Rockdale County and Shiloh, who they both defeated earlier this season.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have a tougher road ahead of them with South Gwinnett, Rockdale County and Grayson coming in three straight nights on the last three games of their season.
Regardless of what happens, the Rams will focus on improving themselves and tidying up their play in their next match, which comes on the road against Arabia Mountain on September 18th at 5:30 p.m.