The Long County Lady Blue Tide softball team did not get off to the best of starts as they were at an even .500 through their first 12 games. However, the team has hit a hot streak at the right time as they have now won five straight games, including three straight Region 2-AAA games.
On Tuesday, September 10, the team traveled to Blackshear to face off against Pierce County, who beat the Tide 1-0 earlier this season. This game also came just days after the Tide had a week off from practice due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian. They did not let that bother them, however, as they came away with a 5-4 comeback victory.
The Lady Bears took a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning, but that is when the Tide finally hit their stride at the plate. Sophomore Samantha Pitts cracked a leadoff double and junior Madison Giron was walked to set up fellow junior Allie Swanson. Swanson forced an error at second to load the bases.
Senior Ainsley Dawson hit a sacrifice RBI to give the team their first run and move Giron and Swanson to third and second. The Tide then started a two-out rally that led to the biggest win of the year for Long County.
Senior Madison Burkhalter hit a single to score Giron while freshman Taylor Hodges got on base after being hit by a pitch. Fellow freshman Jaci Smiley, who was 2-3 at the plate on the night, hit a two-RBI single to tie the score, but Hodges was able to score all the way from first after a wild throw gave her an opportunity to make the score 5-4.
Trista Murphy got the win on the mound for the Tide by striking out three and walking two. Smiley was 2-3 with those key two RBIs while Burkhalter and Dawson each recorded RBIs of their own.
The Tide hosted Liberty County on Thursday, September 12 and seemed to struggle with returning Panther pitcher Kim Colan in the early goings of the game. Leading 2-0 going into the fourth, the Tide found their bats again by scoring four more runs. The Tide added two more runs in the sixth to get the 8-0 mercy rule win.
Murphy and Giron combined for nine strikeouts and just one allowed hit from the Panthers. Pitts, Burkhalter, and Dawson all recorded a hit apiece in the game. Murphy, Giron, Swanson, and Smiley all recorded multiple hits in the game with Murphy securing two doubles and Swanson going 3-3 from the plate.
With the two wins, the Tide are now 12-7 and 4-2 in region play. They currently sit in second place alone, just two wins back of Brantley County. They hosted non-region opponent Southeast Bulloch on Friday and will travel to Baxley to play Appling County on Monday, Sept.16 in another big region battle.