Lady Wildcats fall in round 2 of state playoffs

Published 10:28 am Monday, October 24, 2016


ELLAVILLE – After working their way to a 2016 Region 4-A record of 16-0, coupled with an overall regular-season record of 19-6, the Schley County Lady Wildcats earned the region crown and claimed a spot in the Class A state playoffs.
With their impressive record, the Lady Wildcats earned a bye week in the first round of the playoffs and then hit the diamond in Ellaville on Oct. 19 to take on the Telfair County Lady Trojans.
The Lady Trojans had previously solidified their spot in the second round of the playoffs with a pair of solid wins over Crawford County a week prior.
Despite the team putting up an admirable fight, Schley’s girls succumbed to late rallies in each of the teams’ tilts on Oct. 19 to fall in the second round of the playoffs and conclude their season with an overall record of 19-8.
With the victories, the Lady Trojans improved to 20-9 and will go on to face the winner of the series between Mt. Zion and Seminole County.
The Lady Wildcats got off to a strong start in the series opener, pushing in one run in the bottom of the initial inning. Telfair equalized the score in the third inning before sparking a rally in the fourth that would leave the visitors with a 5-1 lead.
Schley narrowed the gap in the bottom of the stanza when Mindy Carol Register batted in Emily Campbell. The Lady Trojans continued their momentum in the fifth inning, adding another four runs. In the bottom of that stanza, Laine Frazier laid up a sacrifice fly to plate Kelli Rees and help the Lady ‘Cats make up for lost ground.

Michael Murray/Americus Times-Recorder: Schley County's Laine Frazier turns up the heat from the pitcher's circle during first game of the Lady Wildcats' playoff series against Telfair County.

Michael Murray/Americus Times-Recorder:
Schley County’s Laine Frazier turns up the heat from the pitcher’s circle during first game of the Lady Wildcats’ playoff series against Telfair County.

Telfair’s momentum continued to build in the sixth inning, however, and the visitors added five more runs to snag a 14-3 victory.
There’s certainly no way of knowing what second-year head softball coach, Jodi Sellars, said to the team during the intermission before the second game kicked off but, whatever it was, it seems to have worked.
The Lady Wildcats returned to the field fired up and ready to avenge the previous defeat. In the top of the first, Schley pulled ahead 2-0 on an RBI double off of Saige Whaley’s bat that drove in Frazier, followed by a full-count single from Register that drove in Cydney Smith (pinch-running for Frazier).
The Lady Wildcats stepped up their defensive efforts as well and enlisted a fresh pitcher, Whaley, to handle hurling duties. In the bottom of the first, the Ellaville crew held their opponents to only three batters. Telfair responded in kind in the top of the following frame and the teams continued to battle a scoreless game until the bottom of the fourth when the Lady Trojans broke their silence with an RBI. The Lady Trojans threatened again in the bottom of the fourth on an errant pitch, but quick thinking from third baseman, Rees, who fired off the ball to Havalyn Cross, dispatched a runner heading for the plate just in the nick of time.
Much to the chagrin of the home crowd, however, the Lady Trojans managed to tie the score 2-2 with a run in the bottom of the sixth.
It looks as if the Lady Wildcats might retake the lead in the seventh frame when Carmen Phillips sent the ball sailing out towards the centerfield fence. Telfair’s defender, however, managed to make an impressive catch to send the visitors back to the dugout.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a runner on third base, a Telfair batter swatted a drive that hit the ground a mere moment before Schley’s left fielder could reach it, allowing a runner to make a break for home plate and sealing the victory.