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Seniors come through for Lady Raiders on Senior Day

AMERICUS – For six seniors on the Southland Academy (SA) Lady Raider softball team, it was a very memorable Senior Day. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Lady Raiders, led by seniors Alli Dent, Holly McCain, Sara Beth Storey, Katie Rogers, Reese Roland and Brookland Weaver, exploded for six runs on four hits to lead SA to an 8-2 victory over the Deerfield-Windsor Lady Knights (DWS) on Monday, September 21, at the Southland Academy softball complex.

“It’s always great to win on Senior Day, always great,” said SA Head Coach Rusty Tondee.

Up until the fourth inning, it was a scoreless pitchers’ dual, but that would change in the top of the fourth. Marlin Pollock led off the inning for DWS with a single and Camden Missamore drew a walk off Storey, who started in the circle for SA. Anna Lane Pierce then drove in Pollock on an RBI single and Julia Watson singled to drive in Missamore to give the Lady Knights a 2-0 lead.

However, that would be it for DWS as far as runs were concerned. From then on out, it was all SA Lady Raiders.

Southland Academy senior pitcher Sara Beth Storey limited the Lady Knights to three runs on two hits in the Lady Raiders’ 8-2 victory over DWS on Senior Day at Southland Academy.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

In the bottom of the fourth, Storey singled and advanced to second on an error by the DWS left fielder. After McCain popped out for the first out of the inning, Katie Rogers singled and advanced to second on the throw in from the outfield. That allowed Storey to score the Lady Raiders’ first run of the game.

T.J. Bowden flew out for the second out, but Reese Roland was able to drive in Rogers with an RBI single, tying the ball game at 2-2.

The bottom of the fifth inning proved to be the decisive frame of the game.

Morgan Weaver led off the inning for the Lady Raiders with a walk and Landry Hart singled to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Alli Dent then executed a bunt single to load the bases for Storey. Storey promptly hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Weaver from third and giving SA a 3-2 lead. After McCain drew a walk, Rogers delivered the big blow with a two-run double to give the Lady Raiders a 6-2 lead. T.J. Bowden followed that up with an RBI single and Morgan Weaver would later drive in the Lady Raiders’ final run of the game on a fielder’s choice.

Rogers led SA’s offense by going 2 for 3 with two runs scored and three RBIs.

Southland Academy senior third baseman Reese Roland chases down and tags out a DWS batter before she reaches first base.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Storey started in the circle for the Lady Raiders and pitched five innings. She gave up three runs on two hits, walked three batters and struck out two. Dent came on in relief of Storey and pitched the last two innings. She gave up no runs, hits or walks and struck out one.

“We got good contact on the ball. We just hit everything in the air and we found out they could catch fly balls,” Said Tondee. “Then we started leveling everything off and hitting line drives and they had trouble catching the line drives and we just took advantage of it when we did.”

Southland Academy senior shortstop Holly McCain fields a ground ball.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Raiders (5-7) will try to continue their winning ways when they hit the road and travel down to Valdosta on Tuesday, September 22, for an important region game against Valwood. In their last meeting against the Lady Valiants back on August 26, the Lady Raiders lost by the score of 13-8. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Southland Academy senior Reese Roland went 1 for 2 with an RBI single to help lead the Lady Raiders to victory over DWS.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Then on Thursday, September 24, the Lady Raiders will host Terrell Academy. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 4 p.m. In SA’s last meeting against the Lady Eagles in Dawson back on September 1, the Lady Raiders won 10-2.