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Lady Tigers clinch 3rd in region
Jessica Puckett and Karson Rogers leap for the high five after beating Groves 14-6 in six innings at home Thursday. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Bradwell’s softball team beat Groves High School once before, shutting them out 9-0 in Savannah earlier this season. And it appeared the Lady Rebels were out to avenge their loss on the Tigers’ home field Thursday afternoon — until the home team staged a comeback and won 14-6 in six innings.

At one point in the game, the girls trailed 6-1 as they struggled against a strong and fast Lady Rebel pitcher in the first two innings.

In the bottom of the third inning, Kelissa Hargrove walked and stole second. On a wild pitch, Hargrove raced to third base and slid beneath the baseman, avoiding the tag. Lady Tiger Barbara Rego made a hit, scoring Hargrove and getting on base. Rego then stole second and she and Kaitlyn Stacy advanced bases. Rego scored a run off a smack to centerfield by Kasey Smith.

Rachel Ray slapped one behind the third baseman to score Stacy. Ray made her way to third and was brought home by a high toss to second as the Lady Rebels tried to prevent Karson Rogers’ courtesy runner, Ashley Riles, from stealing second. Suddenly, the home team was within one run, trailing 6-5.

In the bottom of the fourth, Hargrove got on base and stole second. Riles hit one deep and tied the game at 6 by scoring Hargrove. Riles advanced to second and third on stolen bases, but she was tagged at home when she attempted to score off a hit by Rego.

Smith hit a RBI, giving the Lady Tigers a 7-6 lead by scoring Rego. The Lady Tigers loaded the bases and faced two outs, and the Groves pitcher walked Candace Blair, giving the BI girls another run. A wild pitch allowed Ray to score and Suede Jones hit one deep, scoring two more runs and making it 11-6 in the home team’s favor.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rego nailed one deep for a double. Stacy hit the ball and made first base and advanced Rego to third. Smith had a short bunt and was safe at first. With the bases loaded, Rogers made a hit, scoring two runs to make it 13-6.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the girls scored a run to win by the run rule, 14-6.

The girls clinch third place in Region 3-AAAAA.

"We’ve got third locked up, but I must admit, I was a little nervous in the beginning of the game," Lady Tiger softball coach Sharyl Eastlake said. "They had a few runs on the board and we were making a couple of throwing errors, and then we couldn’t get any hits and they were getting a little too anxious."

However, the coach said her girls got it together for the rest of the game and watched the pitches, choosing the ones they knew would give them the best scoring opportunities.

"They stayed back, they watched her and they drove it," Eastlake said.

The girls had a double-header yesterday against Johnson, which included honoring the senior Lady Tigers between the games. Results from that game and a story about the outgoing seniors will be in Wednesday’s Coastal Courier.

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