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Hodges stars in Lady Tide loss to Pierce
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Despite sitting at 4-11 overall for the season, the Long County Lady Blue Tide softball team is still in the hunt for the postseason. 

They knew that going into Thursday’s key region game against Pierce County, but a six-run second inning gave the Lady Bears all they needed to walk away with the 8-0 mercy rule win in five innings. 

Senior Sam Pitts started the game on the mound for the Lady Tide allowed two hits and a run in the first inning, but was able to finish off the Bears with two strikeouts down the stretch. 

However, it was the Tide’s weak point in the bottom of the inning that continued to be their downfall. 

Taylor Hodges was able to get on base with a single after Pitts’s leadoff popup fly out. 

However, neither Lanie Williams or Jaci Smiley could bring Hodges home to tie the game up as the Bears went into the second up 1-0. 

The Lady Bears took advantage of the Tide not being able to get much going at the plate as they did the exact opposite. 

They recorded seven hits, five earned runs, and batted around the order to take a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the inning. 

To continue their second inning dominance, they went three up, three down against the Tide in the bottom of the inning to maintain their 7-0 lead. 

However, it was the Lady Tide’s turn to show some defensive prowess, doing something not many people have been lucky enough to see in their lifetime. 

Pitts did allow three hits to open the third inning as the Lady Bears loaded the bases as it looked like they would add to their already-commanding lead. 

However, a great play by Hodges at second base to leap and grab a fly line drive just over her head led to a second out at second base and turn for the third out at third base. 

The utterly impressive triple play seemed to ignite the Lady Tide. 

Senior Brooklyn Smith was able to get on base with a single while Hodges reached on an error to set the Tide up with two runners on base. 

The Tide were not able to get a runner across the plate, but they never stopped fighting and continued to play well on defense. 

Rebecca Lust took the mound for the first time at home and was impressive in her short appearance for the Lady Tide. 

She allowed no hits or runs in the top of the fourth inning as they went three up, three down on the Lady Bears. 

The second out was thanks to another great play by Hodges as she made a diving grab on a ground ball and tossed it to first from her knees. 

 The Bears were able to add one more run in the top of the fifth inning to secure the mercy rule win if the Tide were unable to get on the board. 

While it did not happen, they tried their hardest to extend the game into the sixth. 

Lust walked, Smith got on base for the second time with a single and Pitts followed that up with her own single. 

However, Hodges was not able to play hero once again as the Bears were able to turn a double play and shut down the Tide’s chances of making a remarkable comeback. 

With the loss, the Tide fall to 4-11 and 1-8 in the region. 

Brantley County stands at 1-7 in the region with their lone win being a 1-0 home win over the Tide. 

The Lady Tide play at Tattnall County on Monday, a makeup game from last week, at Brantley on Tuesday, Sept. 28 in what will likely decide the fourth seed in the region, and then home against the Warriors on Tuesday, Oct. 5 for senior night. 

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