It was a good weekend for the Bradwell Institute softball team at the Tattnall County Blast, held Aug. 17-18 in Reidsville, as the Lady Tigers won three of the five games they played.
The Lady Tigers shelled Portal, 17-2; downed Claxton, 10-2; and edged Wheeler County 4-0. Bradwell lost to the Treutlen Lady Vikings, 5-4, and Metter, 10-7.
“Our team’s motto is concentration and intensity,” Bradwell head coach Sharyl Eastlake said. “The ladies performed well above expectation. We communicated well, worked together well as a team and had a great time this weekend.”
The tight schedule forced the Lady Tigers to pitch by committee. Kelissa Hargrove, Sarah Wells, Kasey Smith, Shae Smith and MacKenzie Stewart combined for 20 strikeouts, 19 walks, 12 hits and seven earned runs.
Stewart showed strong control and tenacity, especially in the Claxton game when she struck out a few hitters after getting behind in the count.
Defensively, Bradwell stepped up throughout the tournament by garnering balls for key outs with runners in scoring position.
“I could not have asked for a better performance from our pitchers,” Eastlake said. “We need to really work harder on endurance, and that will make us that much tougher and help us continue to throw strikes in the later innings.”
Eastlake said that the Lady Tigers remained solid and in control of the games until the fourth inning, when they started to feel fatigue.
“We started playing strong and showed a lot of poise and control, but what allowed Metter to beat us was we began to fizzle in the fourth inning, but we know what we have to do to be able to finish a game and play seven strong innings, and I am confident we will get there,” Eastlake said.
Hargrove led Bradwell at the plate with eight hits and five RBIs in the tourney. Wells and Shae Smith each slapped six hits and five RBIs.
Stewart, Jessica Fulton, Kasey Smith and Courtney Fulton had five hits and four RBIs apiece.
Hargrove and Shae Smith were named to the all-tournament team.
Bradwell, 3-3 overall and 0-1 in Region 3-AAAAA, continues region play, facing Jenkins High School on Thursday at Jenkins.
The Tigers were scheduled to host Windsor Forest on Tuesday; results were unavailable at press time.
This weekend, the Lady Tigers travel to Statesboro for the Battle in the ’Boro tournament. Bradwell will face area power Savannah Christian at 5 p.m. Friday.