Lady Wildcats defeat Seminole County, but lose to Lanier County to end season
By Staff Reports
COLUMBUS, GA – After losing to Gordon Lee 8-4 in their first game of the GHSA Class A-Public State Playoffs on Thursday, October 25, the Lady Wildcats softball team rebounded by defeating Seminole County 5-2 on Saturday, October 27. However, their season came to an abrupt end when the Lady Bulldogs of Lanier County defeated Schley County 11-10 on a walk-off RBI single by first baseman Elle Watson.
Both games took place on Saturday, October 27, at the Golden Park Softball Complex in Columbus.
Seminole County had lost to Marion County 5-3 in their opening-round game, putting them in the loser’s bracket against the Lady Wildcats. The game went into extra innings as both teams were tied 2-2. Schley County, being the visiting team, scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning. Carmen Phillips led off the inning with a single, followed by a single by Emily Campbell. Campbell and Phillips both advanced to second and third respectively on the play. Nyiah Kelley then hit a line drive and reached on an error by the Seminole County third baseman. This allowed Phillips and Campbell to score. After Saige Whaley struck out, Landry Whaley hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Kelley from third.
Schley County pitcher Saige Whaley was able to retire the Lady Indians in order in the bottom of the eighth to win the game. Emily Campbell went 2-for-3 at the plate, scored two runs and drove in an RBI. She also drew a walk. Saige Whaley pitched the entire game. She gave up two runs on three hits, walked two batters and struck out six.
The win over Seminole County kept hope alive for the Lady Wildcats. They would now face Lanier County. The Lady Bulldogs won their first playoff game 2-0 over Bowdon, but lost to Trion 15-2 in their second game.
The Lady Bulldogs were the home team and scored four runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 4-0 lead. However, in the top of the third, the Lady Wildcats got their offense going. Jade Sellars led off the inning by drawing a walk. After Tamia Kelley struck out, Alexis Bradshaw drew a walk, advancing Sellars to second. Carmen Phillips then drove in Sellars on an RBI single to plate the first run of the game for Schley County. Emily Campbell then hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Bradshaw from third to cut The Lady Wildcats’ deficit to 4-2.
Lanier County scored one run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-2 lead, but Schley County responded with five runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-5 lead. Tamia Kelley and Bradshaw both drew walks to start the inning. Phillips then grounded out, advancing the runners to second and third. Emily Campbell then reached on an error, allowing Kelley to score and Bradshaw to advance to third base. Nyiah Kelley then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Bradshaw to cut the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 5-4.
With a runner on third and two outs, Saige Whaley knocked a two-run home run to give Schley County a 6-5 lead. The Lady Wildcats added another run in the inning and led 7-5 going into the bottom of the fifth.
Lanier County responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead at 8-7. The Lady Wildcats responded with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth, but the Lady Bulldogs fought back by scoring a run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 9-9.
There would be no scoring from either team for the next couple of innings. Then in the top of the ninth, Schley County scored one run. With two outs, Saige Whaley belted her second homer of the game to give the Lady Wildcats a 10-9 lead. Schley County now only needed three more outs to continue their season and keep their hopes of a state championship alive.
However, the Lady Bulldogs had other ideas. Jordan Allen led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run to tie the game at 10-10. Anzlie Brogdon then reached on an error to put the winning run aboard for Lanier County. Another error allowed Brogdon to advance to second, putting the winning run in scoring position. Ellie Watson then dealt the fatal blow with an RBI double to win the game for the Lady Bulldogs.
Both teams committed two errors in this game. Unfortunately for Schley County, the two errors they committed came at the worst time.
Saige Whaley went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBIs. She also scored three runs for the Lady Wildcats. Carmen Phillips went 2-for-5, scored two runs and drove in two RBIs. Perri DeVane went 2-for-5 and scored a run.
Saige Whaley pitched the entire game. She gave up 11 runs on 12 hits. Ten of those runs were earned.
In spite of being eliminated, the Schley County Lady Wildcats had an outstanding season, finishing 22-7 overall.
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