Seven-run deficit too much for Lady Raiders to overcome

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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CHULA, GA – After the first three innings of play against Tiftarea Academy (SAR), the Southland Academy Lady Raiders (SAR) found themselves trailing the Lady Panthers 7-0. Though they battled to get to within three runs at one point, they were not able to overcome that early deficit and went on to lose to TA by the score of 10-4 on Tuesday, September 5, at the TA softball complex.

This happened in spite of the fact that the Lady Raiders out hit TA 11-8 and had numerous runners in scoring position. Unfortunately for the Lady Raiders, they were not able to cash in with runs.

“I was very pleased with the way they fought and didn’t give up,” SAR Head Coach Blaze Hargrove said. “They could have folded the tent and said ‘we’ll go again another day’, but they didn’t. They fought. We were a couple of really big hits away. We left the bases loaded twice. We were a couple of big hits away from really being in this game. We made a few errors and gave them one or two runs. I was super proud of the way they fought. That’s a really good team and we hung in there with them for the most part. That’s pretty much what I asked of them.”

Southland Academy pitcher Riley McRee is seen here competing for the Lady Raiders against Tiftarea Academy.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Raiders fell behind 5-0 early in the bottom of the first inning, as the Lady Panthers scored five runs on three hits and took advantage of two walks and an error.

Then in the bottom of the third, the Lady Panthers added to their lead by scoring two runs on two hits and took advantage of two more walks and an error.

However, the Lady Raiders would not go quietly. In the top of the fifth inning, SAR scored two runs on two hits and they took advantage of an error. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Adler Rae Owens, who drove in two runs on an RBI single to center field. Then in the top of the sixth, the Lady Raiders drew three runs closer by scoring two runs on two hits. Camille Cochran led off the inning with a walk and Ila Johnson doubled to center field. Later on in the inning, Landry Hart drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and Alyssa Godwin drove in SAR’s fourth run of the game on an RBI single. At this point, the Lady Raiders only trailed TA 7-4.

However, the Lady Panthers added three more insurance runs on three hits, including an RBI double by Reagan Bozeman. The Lady Raiders were able to load the bases in the top of the seventh with two outs, but Landry Hart grounded out to third base to end the game.

Camille Cochran scores one of the Lady Raiders’ four runs.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Four SAR players went 2 for 4 at the plate: Ila Johnson, Sarah Kate McRee, Adler Rae Owens and Gracie Wilson. Riley McRee started the game in the circle for the Lady Raiders and took the loss. She gave up seven runs on five hits and walked four batters in three innings pitched. Ila Johnson came on in relief of McRee and gave up three runs on three hits and walked one batter.

Pyper McCard led the Lady Panthers’ offense by going 3 for 4 at the plate and Reagan Bozeman got the win for TA in the circle. She gave up four runs on 11 hits, walked four and struck out 11 batters.

The Lady Raiders will try to get back into the win column when they host Valwood on Thursday, September 7, at 4:30 p.m.