It was close, but this time Liberty County High School held off a rally by Long County.
In the teams’ second matchup this season, the Lady Panthers topped the Lady Tide, 8-6, Monday in Ludowici. Long won the first matchup, 9-4, Aug. 12 on Liberty’s field.
Neither team managed a run in the first inning Monday. Liberty County broke it open in the second, scoring six runs. Liberty added a run in the third, but the Lady Tide narrowed the gap, scoring three runs to make the score 7-3.
Long County shut down the Lady Panthers in the fourth inning and added three more runs to trail by one. Liberty notched another run in the fifth inning. And that was enough to hold the lead, as both teams were scoreless in the sixth and seventh.
“I thought that we showed a lot of heart coming back from 6-0 to start the game,” Lady Tide coach Brian Thomas said. “We had our chances at the end, just couldn’t capitalize.”
Lady Panther coach Jerome Standard said his girls are getting better with each outing.
“The bottom part of our lineup is starting to contribute to our run production, our pitching is solid and our overall defense is satisfactory,” he said.
Liberty sophomore Kathryn Carter picked up the win, pitching 3 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking two. Kaleigh Fisher pitched 3 1/3 innings giving up six runs. She tossed four strikeouts and walked three batters.
Carter also led the Lady Panthers at the plate with two hits and two RBIs. Haley Spencer had two hits and one run scored. Fisher had one hit and two RBIs. Rachel Smith had one hit and one RBI. Riley Davis and Jeresha Roberson had one hit apiece.
Monday’s game put a capper on busy stretches for both teams.
The Lady Panthers were at the Battle of the ’Boro tournament over the weekend in Statesboro, where they went 2-2.
Liberty opened the tournament with a 6-1 win over Screven County Friday.
Carter was chosen as the player of the game by Standard after she went 2-for-3 batting with a double and a triple to go with two RBIs. On the mound, she struck out 11 batters and walked two in seven innings for the win.
Fisher had three hits and two RBIs. In their second game of the tournament Friday, the Lady Panthers lost, 9-1, to Parkview. Liberty was held to four hits in the game. Riley Davis had one hit and drove in the lone run.
Fisher took the loss on the mound.
On Saturday, the Lady Panthers lost to Ware County, 4-3, in extra innings. Fisher batted 3-of-4 with one RBI. The Lady Panthers managed seven hits, with Fisher and Victoria Anthony making big hits in the seventh inning to force the extra inning. In their final game of the tournament, Liberty bounced back to beat Savannah Christian, 6-5. The Lady Raiders jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but Liberty chipped away, scoring two runs in the second and third. Liberty eked out a run in the fifth and both teams added a run in the sixth inning, but the Lady Panthers held the advantage.
“I am so proud of all of them,” Standard said after Liberty beat Savannah Christian. “We just became a whole lot better.”
Carter and Victoria Anthony each had two hits and one RBI. Fisher had one hit and two RBIs, and Roberson and Meagan Folker each had one hit and one RBI. Fisher earned the win, pitching six innings.
The Lady Panthers are 3-4 overall and host Richmond Hill at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Long County also competed in a weekend tournament and finished 1-3. The Lady Tide lost to Crisp County in the first game of the tournament, 11-3. In game two, they notched an 8-0 win over North Springs.
Thomas said Harley Dawson threw a no-hitter in the win.
On Saturday, the Lady Tide lost, 4-2, to Jackson in extra innings and were beat, 7-0, by Schley County.
Overall, the Lady Tide are 3-8 and hold a 1-4 Region 2-AA mark.
They were set to play Tuesday at home against Atkinson County and will host Vidalia at
5 p.m. today.