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Lady Tide open season on fire
Liberty among Longs early victims
Long Countys Caitlyn Wingate delivers a pitch to a Liberty County batter as Harley Dawson (foreground) stands ready at third Monday in Flemington. Dawson hit a two-run homer and Wingate earned the win as the Lady Tide beat the Lady Panthers 5-1. - photo by Patty Leon

Long County opened their season with wins over Crisp County and Telfair County during a tournament Saturday in McCrae. On Monday, the Blue Tide scored another win as they toppled Liberty County 5-1 in Flemington.

In Saturday’s first game, the Lady Tide beat the Lady Cougars 8-7. Katie Estill led Long County by batting 3 for 4 and scoring three runs. Harley Dawson’s one hit was huge — a three-run home run. Dawson also got the start and win, pitching the whole game.

In the later game against Telfair, Long County had an even better outing, beating the Lady Trojans 7-4. Long County starting pitcher Caitlyn Wingate went 4 innings, giving up six hits while striking out two batters. Dawson got the win in relief, allowing only one hit the rest of the way.

Dawson also batted 2 for 3 with a run. Hannah McGowan was 1 for 3 with two runs batted in, and Makaylee Fowler who was 1 for 3 with two walks.

Though Long County won both games on Saturday, the Lady Tide had to come from behind in each one.

Head coach Brian Thomas said he liked the way his team never panicked and stayed focused.
“I liked the fact that we had to come from behind in both games to win. Crisp and Telfair counties are both top-notch programs, so being able to compete with them was satisfying,” he said.

Against Liberty on Monday, Dawson smashed a two-run homer over the center-field fence to give the Lady Tide a 2-0 jump-start in the first inning. Long County secured the win with three runs in the fourth inning. Wingate earned the win on the mound for the Lady Tide.

Kaleigh Fisher took the loss for Liberty. She pitched 3 innings, allowing four hits and five runs. She walked two and struck out five batters. Kathryn Carter pitched the remainder of the game and recorded eight strikeouts and give up one hit.

Tuesday in Ludowici, the Lady Tide were scheduled to take on St. Vincent’s Academy in their first Region 2-AA game of the year. Results from that game were not available at press time.

At 5:30 p.m. today, Long County hosts Brunswick High School. Last week, the two teams played in a scrimmage in Brunswick, with the game ending in a tie. Thomas said that if his team is going to be able to compete against the Lady Pirates, it will have to play better this time around.

“We need to play better defense. Last Wednesday, they were able to press our defense into a few costly mistakes. If we are able to clean up on defense, I feel we will compete with Brunswick,” Thomas said.

Patty Leon contributed to this report

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