Raiders’ softball earns two-game split to open season

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, August 5, 2023

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BACONTON, GA – The Southland Academy Softball Team (SAR) began the 2023 season by earning a two-game split with an 8-0 win over Trinity Christian of Dublin, GA (TC), but followed that up with a 10-6 loss to Citizens Christian (CC) on Friday, August 4, at Baconton Park in Baconton, GA.

“I was super proud of the girls for the way they came out,” SAR Head Coach Blaze Hargrove said. “There was a lot of really good ball played today. Ila (Johnson) threw strikes. Riley (McRee) threw strikes. We made some plays behind them. It was very positive. We swung the bat. In the first game, we didn’t strike out at all, so we were putting the bat on the ball. We were forcing the other team to make plays. It’s a very good start. I’m super proud of where we’re at right now and there’s a lot of stuff we can build on.”

In their first game against TC, the Raiders jumped all over the Crusaders early, but a two-hour rain delay stopped their momentum. Nevertheless, once play resumed, the Raiders resumed their dominance and went on to secure an 8-0 victory.

However, in Game 2 against Citizens Christian, the Patriots exploded for seven runs on five hits in the bottom of the third inning and they took advantage of five walks. As a result, CC had an 8-2 lead over the Raiders.

SAR fought back in the top of the fourth inning with three runs on four hits. Gracie Usher led off the inning with a double and Ila Johnson followed that up with a single. Then Sara Kate McRee followed with a two-run double, making the score 8-4 in favor of CC. After Riley McCree drew a walk, the Raiders inched closer when Adler Rae Owens drove in a run on an RBI single.

However, the Patriots added insurance runs on the fourth and sixth innings and even though the Raiders added another run in the seventh on an RBI single by Sara Kate McRee, that would be as close as SAR would get, as they fell to the CC Patriots by the score of 10-6.

Sara Kate McRee led the Raiders’ offense by going 2 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs and Avery Ledger also went 2 for 4. Both Adler Rae Owens and Gracie Usher each had two hits as well, as they each went 2 for 3.

Ila Johnson took the loss, as she gave up eight runs on six hits and walked four batters.