Liberty County didn’t take long to win a Region 3-AAAA doubleheader Tuesday afternoon against Windsor Forest.
Powerful hitting and the powerful, no-hit pitching of Kathryn Carter — she pitched back-to-back no-hitters in the twin bill — led the Lady Panthers to two 14-0 wins over the Lady Knights.
The Lady Panthers slugged their way to the first win within 40 minutes. The second game went by just as quickly. Both games were shortened by the run rule.
Rachel Smith was a perfect 4 for 4 with 3 RBIs to boot. Carter was 2 of 4 with a home run and 1 RBI.
Carter pitched the first game, tossing eight strikeouts in the no-hitter. She also pitched the second game tossing another no-hitter and netting seven strikeouts.
Diamond Richardson was 3 of 3 in game 2. Smith had another strong game at the plate, going 2 of 3 with 2 RBIs. Kaleigh Fisher and Cassidy Collum had 2 RBIs each.
“We are 4-0, and it feels good to be at the top, at least for right now,” Lady Panther softball coach Jerome Standard said noting their region record and adding they have six region games in the next two weeks. “We will be tested next week.”
Standard said the Lady Panthers hit well against the Lady Knights, but he thinks it has more to do with the pitches they faced and did not represent an overall improvement of his team’s batting.
“The pitching wasn’t as difficult as we are accustomed to seeing,” he said. “But I will say that any hits help to build confidence, so I don’t see it as a negative thing.”
This Tuesday, the Lady Panthers travel to New Hampstead and then host the Lady Phoenix Thursday at 5 p.m. New Hampstead is 0-3 in region play and are 9-9 overall.
On Friday, Liberty will host Thomson for a region doubleheader that was rained out earlier this year. The Lady Bulldogs are 7-
8 overall and were expected to start region play this weekend against Wayne County.
The doubleheader starts at 4 p.m.
The big test happens Oct. 5 and 7, when Liberty plays Wayne County, first in Jesup and then at home. Both games will start at 6 p.m.
The Lady Yellow Jackets were also 4-0 as of Wednesday afternoon and were set to play Thomson this weekend.
Weather has hampered practice and playing time this season, but injuries also wreaked havoc for the Lady Panthers early on. Richardson sustained an injury earlier in the season.
Navia Telfair, a valuable second baseman and hitter, has only been able to run the bases because of a broken wrist. A few other players had sustained injuries, but Standard said that other than Telfair, things seem to be back in place.
“We did do a big shuffle and tried to figure out the best combination of where to play kids, and I think we are pretty close to having what we need — obviously, without Navia,” he said. “We are fortunate to have Melana Davis come in and fill that void at second base. Dejah Smith was out for a week, but she is back. … We are pretty much a healthy squad at this point.”
The Tuesday games afforded Standard a chance to play in subs. Sisters Carmae and De’Anna Gumataotao, freshman Candice Blitch and junior Chelsea Beverly got plate appearances and looked good against a varsity opponent, Standard added.