Pierce County’s Lady Bears softball team captured two of its final three games heading into the state playoffs.
The Lady Bears (15-12 overall, 9-3 Region 1-AAA) completed the three-game season sweep Wednesday, October 6 of visiting Brantley County (9-17, 3-9) winning 9-1 in five innings. PCHS won the first meeting August 12 at home 3-0. The Lady Bears posted a 6-4 win in Caney Bay August 31.
Pierce County followed a day later blanking Class AA sixth-ranked Berrin 9-0 to avenge a 6-5 loss in Nashville back on September 20 to the Lady Rebels (17-7). The victory ended a six-game losing streak to ranked foes while the visitors lost for the fourth time in six games after a 14-game winning streak.
Class AA top-ranked Vidalia (24-5) stretched its current winning streak to eight games Saturday, October 9 beating PCHS 7-1.
The Region 1 runner-up Lady Bears open play in the Class AAA state tournament hosting Region 3 third-seed Windsor Forest. The best-of-three series is scheduled to start today (Wednesday, October 13) with a doubleheader. An “if” game would be played Thursday.
The PCHS-Windsor Forest winner advances to play the winner of Region 5 fourth-seed Cedar Grove and Region 7 champion East Forsyth. The second round is scheduled to be played Tuesday, October 19 thru Thursday, October 21.
In other Region 1 vs. Region 3 matchups, first-seed Appling County will host fourth-seed Johnson-Savannah, third-seed Tattnall County travels to runner-up Liberty County, and fourth-seed Brantley County visits champion Southeast Bulloch.
Lady Bears 9
Lady Herons 1
Pierce County pulled away from a 2-1 advantage scoring six runs in the fourth and ended the game with the “mercy rule” plating a fifth-inning run to beat the Lady Herons.
The PCHS bats exploded for 14 hits against Brantley County’s Kira Altman (4. 2 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 K, 3 BB, 1 HBP) to back Natalie Herrin (5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 8 K, 0 BB).
The Lady Bears stranded five runners over the first two innings before finally breaking a scoreless tie in the third inning. PCHS loaded the bases after two outs and nobody on base in its first at bat on singles by Natalie Sullivan (3-for-4) and Kylie Allen (4-for-4), and a walk to Rebecca Deloach (2-for-2).
Pierce County received a leadoff single from Reagan Larson (1-for-3) and a two-out, intentional walk to Herrin (2-for-3) in the second.
Sullivan led off the third with a single followed by an infield hit by Allen. After a double steal, Deloach doubled to left-center on a 1-2 pitch scoring both runners.
Brantley County responded with a run in the top of the fourth to get to within 2-1. Brooklyn Wildes (1-for-2) reached when her fly ball was misplayed. She raced home on a Maggie Crews’ (1-for-2) one-out double to left-center.
The Lady Bears broke the game open in the bottom half of the inning. The first seven batters reached with six scoring as PCHS pushed the lead out to 8-1.
Natalee Griffin drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third on an error. Herrin singled with Tivona Myles (1-for-3) legging out a sacrifice bunt putting two runners on.
Pierce County followed with four consecutive run-scoring hits. Sullivan had a run-scoring single, Allen lined a two-run double with Deloach and Rylee Carden (1-for-3) adding run-scoring singles.
PCHS scored a final run in the bottom of the fifth on Allen’s two-out, run-scoring double. Herrin reached on a one-out single with Myles getting hit by the next pitch.
Lady Bears 9
No. 6 Berrien 0
Pierce County struck for eight runs in its first at bat cruising to the five-inning beating of the Lady Rebels.
Natalie Herrin’s (1-for-3) second pitch, leadoff homer would end up being the only run Amiya Tomlinson (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 K, 3 BB) would need. The Lady Bears would tack on seven more runs before finishing the inning.
Myles (1-for-3) followed reaching on an error. After moving up on a grounder by Sullivan, Myles stole third and raced home on a throwing error with Sullivan advancing to third.
After Allen walked putting runners on the corners, Deloach (2-for-3) stroked a two-run single and raced to third on an error. Carden’s (1-for-3) ensuing run-scoring single upped the lead to 5-0.
A single by Reagan Larson (3-for-3) and an eight-pitch walk to LizAnn Hughes, who was replaced by courtesy runner Sarah Davis, loaded the bases. Carden scored on a wild pitch and Larson followed on Natalee Griffin’s ground out. Herrin’s groundout pushed Davis home with the final run.
Allen opened the second reaching on an error eventually reaching third on a one-out passed ball. Larson, who fell behind 0-2 and fouled off six pitches, ripped a 10th offering for a run-scoring single and the final run of the game.
No. 1 Vidalia 7
Lady Bears 1
Top-ranked Vidalia scored all of its runs in the seventh inning to overcome a 1-0 deficit and beat the Lady Bears.
The Lady Indians sent 11 batters to the plate against Herrin (7 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 5 K, 3 BB), who carried a three-hit shutout into the final frame. Vidalia recorded six hits
Back-to-back, one-out run-scoring doubles gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. A run-scoring single followed PCHS’s only error of the game for a two-run advantage.
Following a walk to load the bases, Vidalia got a two-run double and a two-run single before Herrin fanned the final two batters.
Pierce County scored its lone run in the fourth breaking up a scoreless tie. Sullivan (1-for-4) lined a leadoff single and moved third when Deloach’s grounder was misplayed into a two-base error. Carden’s ensuing grounder plated Sullivan for the 1-0 lead.
The Lady Bears stranded a runner in each of the next two innings and two in the seventh.