The Long County High School softball team’s season ended Saturday, as the Lady Tide lost 6-3 to Jeff Davis in Hazlehurst in the final game of their best-of-three series in the Region 2-AA Tournament.
Last week, the Lady Tide took the early lead in the first round series by beating the Lady Yellow Jackets 2-1 in game one in Hazlehurst. But Jeff Davis won the late game 7-3, forcing Saturday’s sudden-death contest.
Long County ends the season with a 17-12 overall record and a 7-10 region mark. According to the MaxPreps-Foreman Power Poll, the Lady Tide were ranked No. 16 in the state AA rankings.
“This was a really good season for us,” Lady Tide coach Brian Thomas said. “We won 17 games, which is the most that we have won in over
10 years. We also were able to get a signature win this fall over Vidalia, who was ranked No. 1 and undefeated at the time we played.”
Thomas said he spoke with the players after the game, expressing that the coaching staff was extremely proud of the way that they fought all season.
“If one word was used to describe this team, it would be relentless,” Thomas said.
Long County will lose a wealth of talent this year, with MaKaylee Fowler, Caitlyn Wingate, Katie Estill, Harley Dawson and Elizabeth Hewitt all graduating.
“This was a very special senior class,” Thomas said. “These five young ladies had four-straight years with a winning regular season, a state playoff berth and 58 wins. They will be missed not only for their talent, but also their leadership, dedication, integrity and work ethics.
“We are losing several really good players, but we feel like we will be fine next year with the players that we have coming back,” Thomas said, adding that Bailey Harrison, Tityanna Wilson, Kailyn Hall, Ch’Hyya Wright will return next season after lettering this season.
The Lady Tide also expect to have back Hannah McGowan, Taylor Burnside, Malaka Elix and Ravea Rose. Several underclassmen, including Rylie Poppell, played significant varsity innings this season and should contribute in 2016.