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Defense an Achilles Heel for Lady Raiders in loss to SGA

From Staff Reports

AMERICUS – Having won two of its last three games, the Southland Academy Lady Raider Softball Team (SAR) was hoping to continue its winning ways against Southwest Georgia Academy (SGA) in a game that was supposed to have been played at SGA in Damascus, GA, but was switched to Southland due to the fact that the SGA field was unplayable due to heavy rain. However, even though SAR was in its friendly confines, the Lady Raiders (5-6) struggled in the field, committing a total of seven errors on the day. Those struggles would lead to their undoing, as the Lady Warriors (10-1) were able to take advantage of those errors and left Americus with a 13-4 victory over SAR on Thursday, September 9.

Going into the fifth inning, SAR only trailed 6-4, but the Lady Warriors put the game away by scoring four runs in the fifth and three more in the seventh. In the top of the fifth with one out, SGA’s Caroline Harper drove in a run on an RBI single off SAR starting pitcher Maddie Godwin. Then Rylan Edwards and Ella Ashley drove in two runs on back-to-back doubles, making the score 9-4 in favor of SGA. An error by the Lady Raiders allowed another run to score before SAR was able to turn a double play to prevent further damage.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Raiders tried to fight their way back into the game when Jadie Burrell reached on an error and Morgan Minick followed with a single. However, SGA pitcher Aubrey Holloman struck out Morgan Weaver and got Avery Ledger to ground out to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Lady Warriors added three more insurance runs on a single and took advantage of two SAR errors and two walks. In the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Raiders were able to get a runner aboard with one out when Kayla Hudgins drew a walk, but all hopes of a miracle comeback ended when Holloman got Mary Katherine Saratsiotis to hit into a double play to end the game.

Landry Hart led the Lady Raiders’ offense by going 2 for 3 at the plate with a two- run double in the first to tie the game at 2-2 and an RBI single in the fourth to bring SAR to within two runs at 6-4. Hart had a total of three RBIs and also reached base on a walk. Minick, Weaver, Godwin and Burrell were the only other SAR players to earn hits in this game, as the Lady Raiders had a total of six hits in the contest.

Chelci Woody got the start in the circle for SAR. In two innings of work, Woody gave up four runs on five hits. Godwin came on in relief of Woody and gave up six runs on four hits, with three of those runs being earned. She walked three batters and struck out three. Ila Johnson was the third and final pitcher used by the Lady Raiders. In a little over an inning, she gave up three runs on three hits and walked two.

Harper led the SGA offense by going 3 for 5 at the plate with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Holloman pitched the entire game for the Lady Warriors. She gave up four runs on six hits, walked eight batters and struck out seven.

The Lady Raiders will regroup and prepare for a home game against the Lady Vikings of First Presbyterian Day School on Monday, September 13. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.