The Lumpkin County Lady Indians softball team started off their region play strong on Monday night with a 15-3 victory over the Dawson County Tigers. The game was delayed at first because of stormy weather, but after the skies cleared both teams came out ready to play.
The Lady Indians started out slow, leaving three stranded their first at-bat. Starting pitcher Natalie Robinson and the rest of the Lady Indians defense were able to hold the Tigers until the bottom of the second. A sacrifice bunt by Tigers left fielder Brea Crane brought in the first run of the game, followed by a ball put into play by Tigers catcher Annsley Kirby to bring home another runner.
The Tigers left the inning with a 2-0 lead, but it didn’t take long for the Lady Indians to warm up. The Lady Indians put ten runs on the board during the top of the third.
Third baseman Lauren English led things off with a single to right field, followed immediately after with a double to center field by Robinson. Starting catcher Natalie Schubert stepped up and hit a double to right field, earning her two RBIs and the Lady Indians two runs to tie the game 2-2.
Designated pitcher Emmie Graham followed Schubert with a single, and right fielder Hayley Voyles did the same to bring Schubert home and the Lady Indians another run. Back to back singles by first baseman Hannah Pulley and second baseman Alyssa Pulley brought in two more runs, and the Lady Indians had a lead of 5-2.
Back at the top of the lineup, shortstop Evee Dornhecker hit a single to left field for a RBI, and was followed by English with another single and RBI of her own. Graham hit another single to left field; an error on Tigers first baseman Bella Henson gave the Lady Indians time to score two more runs. After another single by Voyles to bring home Graham, the Lady Indians held a lead of 10-2 to finish off the top of the third.
The Tigers were unable to get anything on the board during their next at-bat, and a ball put into play by Robinson gave the Lady Indians time to score another run in the top of the fourth.
The Tigers tried to come back in the bottom of the fourth. Henson launched a double to the center field wall, and a couple of batters later designated pitcher Rylie Erickson hit a double to left field to bring Henson home. Unfortunately the Tigers were unable to get anything else going before the Lady Indians got the final out to end the inning with a score of 11-3.
Reece Moore took over as the pitcher for the Tigers in the top of the fifth. Kloee Graham sent a single down the first base line to get things started for the Lady Indians. Two batters later Voyles sent an incredible out-of-the-park homerun to left field to extend the Lady Indians’ lead 13-3. A single by Grace Jones and a couple of walks for the Lady Indians gave them a couple more runs to leave the inning 15-3.
Emmie Graham came in to finish pitching for the Lady Indians in the bottom of the fifth, and after a quick three outs the Lady Indians won on a run rule 15-3.
Among the great offense for the Lady Indians were a double with two RBIs for Schubert, two singles with a RBI for English plus a double and a single with a RBI for Hannah Pulley. Add in the homerun by Voyles in the fifth and the Lady Indians earned an incredible 18 hits. Robinson got six strikeouts over four innings as the starting pitcher.
The Tigers offense included a double by Henson and another double by Erickson. The Tigers earned three hits over the course of the game. Starting pitcher Olivia Martinez pitched four innings, and Erickson pitched the remaining one.
Coach Joe Jones for the Lady Indians said, “Overall, pretty good outting. [I’m] Proud of them for coming out and getting that first region win.”
The Lady Indians will continue their region play with a game against East Hall tonight at home. The Tigers will host Greater Atlanta Christian at home tonight as well.
We’ve been talking about it all summer. I’ve covered more camps than I can count. Young athletes have been out as early as January lifting and preparing for it. Finally on Wednesday I felt it.
Football season is coming.
Wednesday morning bright and early found me on the football field of Fannin County High School covering the last day of their youth football camp. Now as I said a few sentences earlier I’ve been out all summer covering football camps, but this was the first time it really clicked with me that we are only a few weeks away. And I won’t lie, a lot of it had to do with the weather.
There was a slight breeze and I dare to say chill on Wednesday that I hadn’t felt all summer. Granted it was early in the morning and I’m so used to summer heat that even the slightest temperature drop can make me reach for my jacket. But this time, surrounded by young athletes who are the future of their program, it all started to set in.
It’s hard to imagine Friday Night Lights when it’s 90 degrees in Georgia in the middle of July. When I think of football I think of all the late Friday afternoons when I was in high school and the trees were ablaze with the bright orange and reds of fall. I think of the UGA games I’ve gone to where it’s been so cold part of the reason I was standing was not so much to cheer than to try and keep warm.
I will admit, football season has kind of snuck up on me this year. Earlier in the summer, Team FYN Sports was in baseball mode covering the local youth tournaments. I was in baseball mode keeping up with the Braves. But this is the South, and not just the South but SEC stronghold too. So of course even though baseball comes to the forefront, football stays simmering on the back burner at all times. That’s another reason why when I felt that cooler air on Wednesday, I was so easily able to slip back into football mode.
Local high schools start back as early as the week after next, with scrimmages coming the week after and then regular season the week after that. It’s crazy to think how time flies, and for teams that have been out practicing all summer, they realize that this is where the rubber meets the road.
I remember the first story I did for Team FYN Sports involving football was earlier this summer when Dawson County scrimmaged Pickens in a spring game. It took me a moment to realize when I got to the Dawson County field to realize that were weren’t in August, and this being in May we still had another three full months to go. But you couldn’t have told that to either of the two sides that night.
The Dawson County mommas circled up for pre-game prayer, and lined up to form a tunnel for their sons to run through onto the field. Both home and away stands had a decent amount of fans to fill them. Both schools even brought their marching bands, and Pickens brought their cheerleaders. This energy is what I try to convey to everyone when I say that sports, and especially football, create a community rivaled by few other events.
Each time I’ve gone to a camp, or scrimmage, or even just a practice in this community, I’ve seldom been the only one there who is not a part of the team. Parents will come by to see their sons, or even just community members will drop by to get a look at the team before they run out for the first game. There’s something else special about following a team from the ground up, a season from the beginning to end. I know I’m not the only one that feels that way, and it makes my job all the much more enjoyable.
Over the last couple of weeks BKP and I have been going around North Georgia and interviewing coaches from all of the teams we cover. While last week I focused on the coaches and all of the effort that they have been putting in, it’s no overstatement to say that these players have been putting in their fair share too.
And they all seem ready. They’ve all been lifting and getting stronger since the beginning of the year. They’ve been out running drills and working for positions since the weather was warm enough. Now they’re breaking out the pads, helmets and fine tuning plays until it’s time for that first kick-off.
Football season is coming, and from the locker room to the press box, I think we’re all ready.
Region 7-AAA play got underway this past Friday and by the looks of it, it’s anyone’s to win.
Fannin Rebels(2-2,0-0) had the week off to get prepared for their upcoming region match-up with Banks County(3-2,0-1). Banks is coming off a loss to Franklin County(2-2,1-0) last week, 7-14. Banks was 8-14 passing for 83 yards. 36 carries for 175 yards and 8 catches for 83 yards. Franklin had no data posted.
East Hall(1-4,1-0)travelled to Lumpkin County(2-3,0-1) and made short work of the Indians, winning easily, 48-14. There were no available stats at present.
Dawson County(2-2,1-0) made a trip to defending Region 7-AAA champs, West Hall Spartans(2-3,0-1) and shut them out, 14-0. No available stats recorded
This Week’s Games Friday Oct. 2
Fannin at Banks
Dawson at East Hall
Lumpkin at Franklin
Region 7-AAA Stats as of 9/25/2015
(Some stats are not recorded by various teams)