Lady Raiders score a big region win over Tiftarea Academy

Published 7:06 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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AMERICUS – It has been several years since the Southland Academy softball team (SAR) has beaten Tiftarea Academy (TA), but on Wednesday, September 27, that winless streak came to an end as the Lady Raiders took advantage of some errors committed by the Lady Panthers and got some timely hitting. All of that would result in a 6-1 victory for SAR at the Southland Academy softball complex.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my girls,” SAR Head Coach Blaze Hargrove said. “That’s the first time in coaching softball that I remember the program beating Tiftarea. They’ve always had a jam up program. They always have a great team and they still have a great team. Today, some good things went our way. We made some plays that we maybe normally don’t make, but we did a really good job of keeping them off balance. Riley (McRee) and Ila (Johnson) both did a really good job and we got some hits when we needed them. We forced the issue a couple of times. I just couldn’t be more proud of them. I mean, that’s something that they are going to be able to hang their hat on.”

Southland Academy starting pitcher Riley McRee gave up a run on five hits in leading the Lady Raiders to a 6-1 victory over Tiftarea Academy.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Panthers got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning when Pyper McCard drove in a run on an RBI single. However, the Lady Raiders responded in the bottom half of the inning by taking advantage of two walks, an error and a couple of wild pitches. As a result, SAR was able to score three runs in that inning to take a 3-1 lead.

Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Lady Raiders scored three runs on two hits and took advantage of another TA error, a walk and two more wild pitches. All of this was done with two outs as well.

Throughout the contest, SAR starting pitcher Riley McCree and relief pitcher Ila Johnson neutralized the TA offensive threat, as they combined to give up just one run on five hits. McRee gave up one run on five hits in five innings of work and Johnson came on to pitch two scoreless innings with just one walk.

Camille Cochran led the Lady Raiders’ offense by going 2 for 3 at the plate and both Gracie Usher and Gracie Wilson each had one hit in the contest.

Pyper McCard was the pitcher of record for the Lady Panthers and still had a strong outing in spite of taking the loss. McCard gave up six runs on four hits, walked three batters and struck out 10.

With the win, the Lady Raiders improve to 8-10 on the season and 4-4 in GIAA Region 3-AAA competition. As for TA, the loss drops the Lady Panthers to 10-3 overall and 7-1 in Region 3-AAA play.

The Lady Raiders are now on a two-game winning streak and will try to extend it to three games when they travel down to Damascus, GA to take on Southwest Georgia Academy on Monday, October 2. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.