Errors the difference in Wildcats’ loss at Lee County
Published 10:21 pm Monday, August 28, 2023
LEESBURG – In any close game, errors can mean the difference between winning and losing. In the contest between the Schley County Wildcats (SCHS) and the Lee County Trojans (LCHS), that principle rang out loud and clear, as the Wildcats made a critical throwing error in the bottom of the seventh inning that allowed the Trojans to score a walk-off run and defeat the Wildcats 5-4 on Monday, August 28, at Lee County High School.
“I like the way we competed. We competed hard for seven innings,” SCHS Head Coach Jody Sellars said. “We couldn’t overcome a few defensive errors that cost us. I was just telling my girls that if we play clean defense, we probably give up zero, may be one, but I know we gave up at least four runs directly resulting from errors. That has been the key. We have to clean up defense.”
In total, the Wildcats committed four errors on the day, while the Trojans committed three.
Things got off to a good start for the Wildcats (4-4) in the top of the first inning, as they were able to score two runs on two hits. The big hit of the inning came off the bat of Destiny LeCroy, who belted an RBI double into centerfield. Emma Walker then reached on an error that allowed LeCroy to score.
The Wildcats later added another run in the top of the third. With two outs, Kaleigh Cox drew a walk and Dixie Justice followed that up with an infield hit. Brenna Jacobs then drew a walk to load the bases and Cox would later score when Jacobs got caught in a run down and was tagged out. Being that Cox scored before the out, the run counted. At this point, things were looking good for the Wildcats, as they were leading 3-0.
However, things would change in the bottom of the third. With a runner on second for the Trojans and two outs, Emmalee Freeman would draw a walk off of SCHS starter Lizzie Barineau. Then Sarah Musgrove would hit a line drive right at Barineau, who almost caught the ball, but dropped it. Barineau then picked up the ball and tried to throw Musgrove out at first, but threw it past first baseman Reece Bell. This allowed both Raegan Watkins and Freeman to score and the Wildcats’ lead had been cut to 3-2. Maden Workman then singled to leftfield and drove home Musgrove, tying the game at 3-3.
The Trojans would later take the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by Musgrove, but the Wildcats responded in the top of the sixth. With one out, Abbie Cheek doubled to centerfield and Kaleigh Cox would later draw a two out walk. Then Dixie Justice singled to load the bases for Brenna Jacobs. Jacobs then reached on an error that allowed Cheek to score, tying the game at 4-4.
The Wildcats were not able to generate any offense in the top of the seventh, which meant that the Trojans could walk it off in their half of the inning. Kennady Patrick led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. After Freeman popped out for the first out, Musgrove hit a ground ball to third baseman Abby Sellars, but Sellars’ throw to first base sailed over the head of first baseman Reece Bell and it allowed Patrick to score the winning run.
Lizzie Barineau pitched the entire game for the Wildcats. In seven inning of work, she gave up five runs on nine hits with two walks.
“Liz did a good job competing for us in the circle,” Sellars said. “We’ve got to play defense behind it. Outs have got to be outs. Offensively, I like the way we competed and manufactured the runs that we did. I’m not at all disappointed. The last time we played these guys, they ran us off of our field at our place, so they are a quality team. They are a really good team. It’s good competition for us and I’m pleased with the way my girls responded. Hopefully, next time, we can clean up the defense and come out on top.”
Offensively, the Wildcats were led by Destiny LeCroy and Dixie Justice, who both went 2 for 3 at the plate. LeCroy had a double, an RBI and scored a run, while Justice had two singles.