The Covington News - - SPORTS -

the War­riors a 7-3 lead at the end of the in­ning.

Oconee County capped the first game’s scor­ing when Hanna Man­ders’ sin­gle into the right-cen­ter gap gen­er­ated two more runs against Rusk who en­tered the game in the sixth in­ning in re­lief of Bes­hears.

Game two of­fered more of the same, ex­cept Oconee took less time to put the Ea­gles away. Fam­brough opened things up with a solo homer in the bot­tom of the first. Then brought home a sec­ond run on a sac­ri­fice pop fly in the bot­tom of the third to give Oconee a 2-0 lead. On the very next at-bat, Hannah Pa­tridge walked onto first af­ter a wild pitch, which ex­tended the War­riors lead 3-0.

And af­ter Maura Grace Dick­ens’ dou­ble pushed the score to 4-0, Wood de­cided to shut down Bes­hears for the rest of the night. The bot­tom com­pletely fell out shortly af­ter when Kait­lyn Cor­ral hit a big shot over an out­fielder’s head with the bases loaded. A field­ing er­ror turned the hit into an in­side-the-park grand slam homer which gave the War­riors a 9-0 lead.

They would add two more runs in the bot­tom of the fourth, while East­side fi­nally got on the board in the fifth in­ning, but couldn’t cut the deficit enough to pre­vent a run rule.

In the end, Wood was com­pli­men­tary of her team’s ef­fort, de­spite the slop­pi­ness, and, per­haps look­ing ahead al­ready to 2017, she heaped high praise on Rusk’s over­all per­for­mance — par­tic­u­larly on the mound in the ab­sence of in­jured se­nior pitcher Molly Moon.

“It did (hurt us) to have Molly out,” she said. “I knew that lack of depth would catch up to us. “But I think (Kai­ley) played well, given the cir­cum­stances, and hope­fully she’ll learn from it and it will cause her to de­velop as well.”

As the team gath­ered for its fi­nal post game to­gether, there was noth­ing Wood could say to stop the tears from flow­ing.

“They’re up­set,” she said. “Each of them are tak­ing the blame. And be­cause so many of them chose not to play in col­lege, it’s just re­ally dif­fi­cult.”

Wood said she made sure, how­ever, to keep her last post game speech to her se­niors pos­i­tive.

“You never want to give that speech to the girls,” she said. “I imag­ine a lot of what I say goes in one ear and out the other. It’s dif­fi­cult when they’re cel­e­brat­ing on your field. But I tried to re­it­er­ate to them, don’t let the sea­son de­fine you. We got to the sec­ond round again. We won a re­gion cham­pi­onship. It’s just that some­things don’t work out the way you want them to. And that’s a life les­son as well.

“I just wanted to re­it­er­ate to them what we ac­com­plished and how proud I am of them.”

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