For the last two seasons, the Lady Blue Tide softball team has struggled on the diamond, amassing just nine total wins. The 2022 version of the team has achieved a third of that total as the team notched its third win of the season with a 7-3 win over former region rival Tattnall County on Monday.
The Lady Tide came out playing well in the first inning with senior pitcher Jaci Smiley allowing just one hit. In the bottom of the inning, junior Lanie Williams singled and senior Taylor Hodges was hit by a pitch to put two on.
Junior Kyleigh Sizemore could not reach on her first at bat, but Williams scored for the sacrifice RBI. Hodges came home just two batters later on a throwing error down the third base line as the Tide went up 2-0 early.
Smiley allowed two hits and walked one in the top of the second as the Warriors cut their deficit to 2-1.
Junior Emma Smith opened the Tide’s run in the fourth on a one-out single, as did senior Rebecca Lust. Sophomore Ciara O’Brien walked to load the bases and Williams walked to score Smith and put the third run on the board.
Hodges then smacked a single to score Lust and put her team up 4-1 going into the fifth inning.
The Warriors got a run with a couple of hits in the inning, but the Tide held on with a 4-2 lead.
The sixth inning was all Tide as they added three runs. Williams walked to open the inning before Hodges and Sizemore went down at the plate, but not before the former stole second.
Smiley crushed a double to centerfield to score Williams. Senior Kassie Davis smacked her own double to score Smiley and advanced to third on a throwing error.
Junior Amiyah Simpkins just beat out the throw at first and got an error to help her out as Davis scored from third to make the score 7-2.
In the top of the seventh, the Warriors tried their hardest to make a comeback, but only mustered one run. With two on and the score 7-3, a hard hit ball to centerfield looked like it would cut the lead down even more.
However, Simpkins made the biggest play of the game and possibly her short softball career as she made a leaping grab to snag the ball out of the air to preserve her team’s four-run lead.
With the win, the Tide are now 3-1 on the year. First-year head coach Harley Dawson talked about how the team is “gaining confidence” and is getting to a point where she believes they can be competitive once again.
“The biggest thing when I came in is ‘we gotta learn how to win’,” Dawson said of the team’s impressive start to the season. “Our first two games, we had to learn how to finish, because we kept throwing stuff away, but everything is starting to click.”
The Tide hosted the Brunswick Pirates, who they defeated in the first game of the season 7-5, on Tuesday before opening region play on Thursday at Liberty County.