East­side drops a game be­hind Oconee County af­ter 2-0 loss

The Covington News - - Sports - By Eric R. Wal­lace

The East­side Lady Ea­gles dropped a 2-0 de­ci­sion Thurs­day to the Oconee Lady War­riors in a Re­gion-8-AAA soft­ball con­test with a lot rid­ing on the out­come.

Com­ing into the game, East­side (165-1 over­all, 5-2 Re­gion 8-AAA) and Oconee County (16-1-2 over­all, 6-1) were in a vir­tual tie for the top spot in the re­gion. The Lady War­riors are also the top team in the state ac­cord­ing to the coaches’ poll while the Lady Ea­gles sit in the fourth spot. There was no ques­tion that the No.1 and No.4 teams were on the field at the Ea­gle’s nest as East­side lost their sec­ond game to Oconee in a week.

Amanda Hen­der­son started on the mound for the Lady Ea­gles, while Geri Ann Glasco went to the hill for the Lady War­riors.

With both

of

the

par­tic­i­pat­ing

schools’ top hurlers in per­fect form, a pitcher’s duel en­sued be­tween Hen­der­son and Glasco with nei­ther giv­ing up a run early on.

Glasco pitched a three-hit­ter while walk­ing only two bat­ters.

Not to be out­done, Hen­der­son hurled a four-hit­ter while strik­ing out 10 Lady War­riors and walk­ing five bat­ters in a los­ing ef­fort.

In the top of the first in­ning, the Lady War­riors had run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion when Amanda Hawkins rushed a throw from sec­ond to first af­ter mak­ing a mis­cue on a rou­tine grounder to al­low two runs to score.

"I felt like we were very ner­vous and tense that first in­ning. That's some­thing we have to im­prove on. We can’t let other teams in­tim­i­date us,” East­side coach Heather Wood said.

East­side’s bats couldn’t seem to get on track to gen­er­ate any op­por­tu­ni­ties to score runs.

Bri Cham­bers got two of the three hits for the Lady Ea­gles when she sin­gled to left in the first in­ning then stole sec­ond but was stranded when the next bat­ter struck out be­fore the last two bat­ters grounded out and flied out to the short­stop.

Cham­bers got her sec­ond hit, a sin­gle to left in the third, but was left stranded again when the next bat­ters grounded out to the pitcher and sec­ond base.

Hen­der­son, still ef­fec­tive on the mound, sent the Lady War­riors’ back to the dugout in or­der in the top of the fourth as she struck out the side.

The Lady Ea­gles came up in the bot­tom half of the in­ning to go three up and three down hit­ting grounders to short, sec­ond and the pitcher’s mound.

The Lady War­riors had chances to put more runs on the board in the sixth in­ning but Kayla Jones stretched to snag a line drive to end the Oconee threat.

"I was happy with Kayla, I thought she did a great job on de­fense," Wood said. "She def­i­nitely came through for us."

Kenya Shakoor got the other East­side hit in the bot­tom of the fifth but got caught try­ing to steal sec­ond.

Oconee went down in or­der in the top of the sixth when Kayla Jones snatched a line drive out of the air. Hen­der­son struck out the next bat­ter be­fore get­ting the last bat­ter to ground out to short with Oconee hold­ing on to a 2-0 lead go­ing into the last half of the sixth.

The Lady Ea­gles went down in or­der in the bot­tom half of the sixth with the lead­off bat­ter strik­ing out and the next two grounded out to go into the fi­nal in­ning down by two runs.

Oconee came to bat in the top of the fi­nal in­ning get­ting the first bat­ter on with a sin­gle straight up the mid­dle. The next bat­ter hit a fly ball to right field and Jes­sica Daven­port made a run­ning catch then caught the run­ner too far off first to turn the dou­ble play.

The next bat­ter hit a fly ball to cen­ter for the fi­nal out of the top half of the sev­enth.

The Lady Ea­gles didn’t make a threat in the bot­tom half of the sev­enth with the lead­off bat­ter go­ing down on strikes be­fore the last two grounded out to end the game with the Lady War­riors record­ing the 2-0 victory.

"It's not re­ally go­ing to mat­ter, but in the re­gion tour­na­ment we'll prob­a­bly be the sec­ond place seed in­stead of first,” Wood said. “We're still OK, we just have to come out ready for the re­gion tour­na­ment."

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