SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. -- The first two innings proved to be just a warm up for the Social Circle Lady Redskins as they secured a 5-2 home non-region victory against Eastside on Tuesday.
“Any win is a good win and this one is a special one,” said Social Circle softball coach Audra Thomas. “These girls have played each other for a really long time. So it’s nice for (Social Circle) to be able to take it home that way. We have a really, really good team, a really good unit. It’s all about their effort and their attitude. They deserve every win they get because they put in the time.”
With both teams going into the bottom of the third frame scoreless, Social Circle’s Maddie Poole aimed to change that. She hit a single, where Amia Williams subbed in for Poole. Williams advanced to second base with an Emma Swider single. Emily Jacobson then secured the first RBI in the game, bringing Williams to home plate with a another single.
With no outs, Social Circle’s Jessica Owens smacked the ball for a double, ushering in Swider for a 2-0 score. Owens, along with her RBI, also got a run when she advanced two bases with a Peyton Sorrow single. Sorrow had two RBIs in the game as she brought home Jacobson as well.
“(Sorrow) has really been killing the ball for us,” said Thomas. “Knock on wood.”
Down 4-0, Eastside decided to regroup by changing their pitcher from Dani Fairey to sophomore Kailey Rusk. With Rusk on the mound, Eastside contained Social Circle’s offense and was able to send the game into the fourth inning without further damage.
Thomas said she was pleased, though, with the way her hitters adjusted to the differing pitching styles of Fairey and Rusk.
“They are smart and patient batters,” said Thomas. “They work all the time on mentality. So they just had the mentality to stick with it, find the holes and get runs out of it.”
While having a tough time with Lady Redskins’ defense in the prior innings, Eastside (6-5) started to chip away at their opponent with a few timely base hits. However, the Lady Eagles weren’t able to get any batters to third base safely before going into the fourth frame — the frame where Social Circle (8-2) extended its lead to 5-0 with a Lexi Atkinson run.
Eastside tried to mount a rally in the top of the sixth. It started when McKenzie Walker got her team on the scoreboard by winning her battle with Maddie Poole, who also pitched for the Lady Redskins, and hitting a double. Walker made it home after advancing two bases with a Jakiryra Lemmons single.
Then in the seventh, Riley Hannah fought for her run base by base, cutting Social Circle’s lead to 5-2. Kelsey Ellis hit a single and then advanced to second base by Kendel McAuliffe. After stealing third base, Ellis was left on the field when the Lady Eagles received their third out, ending the game.
Thomas lauded the work of her pitcher in Tuesday night’s win, while also praising the toughness of coach Heather Wood’s ball club.
“Maddie pitched an awesome game,” said Thomas “She’s solid for me, she’s my senior. I’m so glad to have her back, she had an injury last year so it’s nice to have her back on the mound. (And) Eastside is always a challenge. They have a really good coach and a great program. Their pitchers are really solid. They played solid.”
The win marked Social Circle’s seventh victory in the last eight ball games. Its only losses have come at the hands of Class AAAAAAA Peachtree Ridge and an undefeated Wayne County bunch that may be one of Class AAAAA’s top programs.
Social Circle will open up region play at home against Banks County (8-2). While Eastside (4-0 in Region 4-AAAA play) will try to snap a three game losing streak against Walnut Grove (5-6) next week.