The Swainsboro Lady Tigers softball team remained busy last week with four games on their schedule. First up, were two important home games against region foes Bleckley County and East Laurens. Then, on Saturday, Swainsboro traveled to Portal to play both Portal and Toombs County.
The Lady Tigers started out the week on Tuesday by hosting Region 2-A Division 1 leader, Bleckley County. The Lady Tigers put up a good fight but managed to score just two runs on five hits in the 6-2 loss. Hannah Howard led Swainsboro with 2 hits while Jocie Hendrix, Brianna Parks and Caley Wilkerson also recorded a hit.
Swainsboro bounced back on Thursday with a big 5-2 region win over East Laurens. Lady Tiger pitcher Brianna Parks shut down the East Laurens batters allowing them just two runs on four hits and two walks. She also struck out four batters in the contest.
The Tiger offense only produced six hits on the day but made all of them count. The Tigers plated two runs in the first inning, two runs in the third inning, and one more run in the sixth inning. Leading hitters for Swainsboro were Hannah Howard and Brianna Parks with two hits each. Chasity Adams and Caley Wilkerson also chipped in with a hit. The win moved Swainsboro to 11-4 overall and 4-2 in the region.
On Saturday, the team gathered at the SHS batting cages at 7AM for a round of batting practice before loading the bus and heading to Portal High School for a double header.
In the first game of the day, Portal batters led off the game with a double and home run to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Swainsboro then battled back and carried a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. A single, two walks, an error and a home run by Panther third baseman Blair Brannen led to five Portal runs which put the Panthers ahead by a score of 8-7.
Trailing by a run heading into the final inning, Freshman Aa’Caylah Murphy led off with a double for the Lady Tigers. Callie Powell then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third base and then Freshman Gracie Benetueau hit a sacrifice fly to the center fielder to drive in the tying run. With two outs, Hannah Howard and Cassidy Jordan then reached base to set the table for Brianna Parks who delivered a three run homer which extended the lead to 11-8. Parks then struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to close out the win for the Lady Tigers.
Leading hitters for Swainsboro were Parks (2B, HR) and Murphy (2B) with three hits each. Hannah Howard, Caley Wilkerson, and Jocie Hendrix added two hits each. Parks pitched the complete game and picked up her seventh win of the year. She also struck out a season high eight batters.
Coming off the big comeback win over Portal, the Swainsboro players had just a few minutes to catch their breath before taking the field against the Toombs County Bulldogs. The first five innings of the contest were well played and well pitched by both teams with Toombs County holding a slim 4-3 advantage but the fatigue from playing back-to-back seven inning games began to take effect on the Tigers. Four Tiger errors led to five unearned runs for the Bulldogs in the sixth and seven innings.
Swainsboro managed eight hits off of Bulldog pitcher Shayla Stringer in the 10-4 loss, but never could come up with a big inning at the plate. Leading hitters for the Tigers were Hannah Howard (HR) and Brianna Parks with three hits each. Savannah Hooks and Aa’Caylah Murphy also had a hit.
In the third game of the day, Toombs County defeated Portal by a score of 5-0.
Monday’s game at Treutlen County was postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. The Lady Tigers will return to action this week with away games against Jefferson County and Dublin. Swainsboro’s overall record now stands at 12-5 on the season.