Raiders lose doubleheader to Gatewood

Published 8:44 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

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AMERICUS – Having won two out of its last three games, the Southland Academy softball team (SAR) came into Saturday’s doubleheader with Gatewood with hopes of a sweep. However, thanks to a combination of the Gators’ strong offense and some defensive mistakes made by the Raiders in the field, SAR lost both games to Gatewood by scores of 8-3 and 16-7 this past Saturday, August 19, at the Southland Academy Softball Complex.

“They (Gatewood) are a good team. They do a good job of making the defense work. They do a good job of running the bases and putting the bat on the ball,” SAR Head Coach Blaze Hargrove said. “Ultimately, I was a little disappointed in our defense today and our inability to throw strikes. I feel like we hurt ourselves a little bit more than we normally do and it ended up costing us, but overall, it’s a long season. We had a little bump in the road. We’re going to be all right. We’re going to get back to work on Monday and hopefully, get region play started next week on the right track.”

In Game 1, Gatewood scored at least one run in every inning except the fifth and scored four runs in the top of the sixth to earn an 8-3 decision. In total, the Gators scored eight runs on 10 hits and committed one error, while the Raiders scored three runs on eight hits and also committed just one error.

Gracie Usher led the SAR offense by going 2 for 3 at the plate in Game 1 with two singles and drew one walk.

Ila Johnson was the pitcher of record for the Raiders in Game 1. In three innings of work, She gave up four runs on two hits with six walks and no strikeouts.

In Game 2, the Raiders struggled tremendously in the field, as they committed seven errors. This played a huge role in the Gators’ ability to take control of the game early.

Gatewood scored six runs in the top of the first on five hits and took advantage of two walks and two errors.

The Raiders fought back in the bottom half of the inning by scoring three runs on two hits and taking advantage of two walks. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Landry Hart, who doubled in a run.

Over the next two innings, the Raiders scored four runs to take a 7-6 lead.In the bottom of the second, Avery Ledger drove in a run on an RBI triple and Hart followed that up with an RBI single to bring SAR to within one run at 6-5. Then in the bottom of the third, Camile Cochran tied the game with an RBI double to centerfield and Adler Rae Owens would later drive in Cochran when she reached on an error to give the Raiders a 7-6 lead.

However, that lead was short lived, as the Gators responded with three runs in the top of the fourth and seven in the top of the fifth to take a 16-7 lead.

SAR tried to rally in the bottom of the fifth inning to avoid getting run ruled, but were unsuccessful and fell to Gatewood in Game 2 by the score of 16-7.

Landry Hart led the SAR offense in Game 2 by going 3 for 3 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and a run scored and both Avery Ledger and Ila Johnson each went 2 for 3 at the plate with an RBI.

Ila Johnson was again the starting pitcher for the Raiders and she had her struggles in Game 2. In four innings of work, Johnson gave up 13 runs on seven hits, with six of those runs having been earned. She walked six batters and had no strikeouts.

The Raiders (3-6) will try to rebound from this setback when they travel down to Albany on Tuesday, August 22, to take on Deerfield-Windsor. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.