Lady Cats softball gets glimpse at region competition, puts up strong numbers in doubleheader

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Bainbridge Lady Cats got a little taste of their region competition last Friday in a close 2-1 loss against Harris County, followed by a doubleheader on Saturday against Colquitt County and Clinch County.

Bainbridge fell to the Lady Packers and shutout the Lady Panthers to jump to 2-2 for the season, and coach Christopher Bryant is using the losses as fuel for the team going forward. The Lady Cats are now 2-2 early in the season.

“Friday’s game as well as Saturday’s games were a good indicator for the talent we are up against,” Bryant said. “While two of the three games did not go in our favor, we can still use them to see areas that we need to concentrate on at practice. Even with the losses, we made some great plays. We just have to put it all together at the right time.”

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The Lady Cats put the ball in play early in the first when McKynleigh Harrell grounded out to drive in Taylor Swanner and make the score 1-0.

Harris County jumped back quickly in the bottom of the first with two runs, and the Lady Cats held them to that for seven innings.

Abigial Gardner was big at the plate and in the circle. She went 2-for-3 with singles in the second and seventh innings. She also allowed no earned runs, five hits and one walk while striking out three during her six innings.

Haley Thompson and Mabry Grace Briggs were also contributors at the plate, both going 1-for-2.

“To hold a team like Harris County to two unearned runs for seven innings was a big deal,” said Bryant. “We can build on that and hopefully win some more ball games.”

The game does not count as a region game.

Saturday saw the Lady Cats losing 5-3 to Colquitt County, but showed big bats nonetheless.

Briggs was a hot hitter, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. She tripled in the first inning and singled in the fifth.

Gardner again was on fire in the circle. She allowed just one hit and struck out two Lady Packers in three innings. Reilly Fletcher jumped in for the final four innings, allowing five hits, five runs and striking out two.

The top of the first saw Colquitt County take an early 1-0 lead. The Lady Cats came back with a run of their own, scoring Briggs on a groundout by Desirae Beachem.

Colquitt County never surrendered the lead after the third inning, scoring one run on an error.

They tacked on another three runs in the fourth.

An RBI single in the fourth by Harrell gave Bainbridge some life.

After pushing across one run in the bottom of the fifth, Bainbridge was looking at a 5-3 deficit. Briggs plated Thompson with an RBI single, but the Lady Cats were cut off the next two innings by the Lady Packers defense.

“The good news is that we lost because of our errors, not because we were outplayed,” Bryant said.

Bainbridge followed that game up with a five-inning, 7-0 shutout against Clinch County.

The Lady Cats racked up six runs in the first three innings. Big hitter Swanner went 3-for-4, drove in a run and scored another.

Gardner kept Clinch County off the scoreboard, handling all five innings in the circle. She allowed just four hits and struck out eight.