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Long County takes advantage of miscues in win

POSTED: September 25, 2013 10:08 a.m.
Patty Leon/

Bradwell’s Shania Eldridge scoops up the ball and tags out Long County’s Kaylyn McEwing, who slides but doesn’t quite get her feet on the bag. The Lady Tide won, 13-0, in five innings.

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Lady Tide softball player Harley Dawson hit a home run over the left-field fence in the game’s opening at-bat, as Long County cruised to a 13-0 win at Bradwell Institute.
Although the Lady Tigers trailed, 4-0, in the third inning, they were doing well defensively until errors began to plague them starting in the fourth inning. That is when the Lady Tide seized the opportunity, scoring four runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth to win the game by the run-rule.
Dawson batted 1 of 3 with two RBIs. Katie Estill was 2 of 3 with three RBIs and scored 3 runs. Taylor Poole was 2 of 3 with two runs, and Elizabeth Hewitt was 2 for 2 with two runs.
The Lady Tigers had to make some changes to their defensive lineup before the game to accommodate injured and missing players. Outfielder Jakaria Fleming, who usually plays center field, looked comfortable in left field. Tamia Johnson was at first base. Kasey Smith, normally at third base, took over at catcher. Fleming made every catch in left field. Smith and Johnson worked together to get a runner out at home and nearly convert a double play. Smith tossed a runner out going to second. Shania Eldridge covered second, getting a running out and a tag. “Well, we did have a loss, but I am pleased with the way we played because they are all playing in different positions due to injuries and lack of players,” Lady Tiger coach Sharyl Eastlake said. “These girls all stood up to the challenge. I am especially pleased with Jakaria … I think we found her permanent position in left field.”
In addition to Eldridge’s good play on defense, Eastlake said she is pleased with the sophomore’s bunts this season as well.
“She has been advancing runners with that all year,” Eastlake said.
Lady Tiger pitcher Mac-Kenzie Stewart took the loss, walking two, striking out one and giving up 11 earned runs.
The Lady Tigers (5-14 overall, 3-6 in Region 3B-AAAAA) will have to wait and see who they draw in the first round of the region playoffs set to start Oct. 3 at Paulson Park in Savannah.
“I think it will be either Effingham County or Richmond Hill,” Eastlake said. “We are the third-place team in our sub-region, so we will likely play the first- or second-place team from the other side.”
Long County is 12-12 overall and 8-8 in Region 2-AA. The Lady Tide were set to host Metter on Tuesday and go to McIntosh County Academy at 5 p.m. Thursday.
“This win helps us build momentum … which is what we want to do in every game so when we get to the region playoff we should be playing our best,” Long County coach Brian Thomas said. “It’s been great … they push each other … and it’s a real good option when you come out here for a good and tough non-region game and throw a really good quality pitcher out on the mound, like Emily.”
Emily Hester took the win on the mound for the visiting team, going the distance with four strikeouts and allowing three hits and two walks.
Thomas said their final seeding is undetermined.
“I know that if McIntosh beats Toombs we will be automatically in … but we won’t know our seed yet … if we beat Metter we will also be in but not know our seed until Thursday,” he said.

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