By Chris Whitaker, The Americus Times-Recorder
The fourth inning was good to Georgia Southwestern, and the rest were not.
GSW scored four runs in Game 1 of a doubleheader to beat Augusta State 4-2, and then tallied five in Game 2 before losing in extra innings, 7-5.
"I was real proud of them," said coach Eddie Ward. "The weather was not optimum, but they came out ready to play. They played well the first game and showed a lot of guts and a lot of heart coming back in the second game. We just don't have that killer instinct yet."
GSW (8-23, 2-6 PBC) trailed 1-0 entering the fourth of Game 1. The Lady Hurricanes didn't get their first hit until that inning when Mariko Nomura bounced a chopper up the middle. Gabby Buck and Nichole Griffin added singles, and Heather Chambers' RBI-single through the left side tied the game at 1. Then Brandi Pratt cleared the bases with a shot to right field for the go-ahead hit.
Pratt's two-run single turned into three runs to put GSW ahead 4-1 and held on for the win.
"That was a big hit for Brandi," said Eddie Ward. "She's working hard in the cage, and we've been working hard in taking the ball to the opposite field. She took the outside pitch and drove it. It couldn't have happened to a better kid."
Augusta State (17-14, 3-5) scored one run in the first and fifth innings. Kristen Jones had a bunt-single for a RBI, and the Lady Jaguars scored the other on an error.
The sister duo of Brittany and Tiffany Milstid combined in the win. Brittany Milstid pitched the first four innings, allowing one run on eight hits to get the win; Tiffany Milstid pitched the final three, allowing one run on three hits.
Buck led GSW with two hits; the team had six.
In the second game, the Lady Jaguars took a 3-0 lead in the fourth when GSW answered in the bottom half with five runs. Griffin drove in a run on an error, Pratt delivered a two-run single, Heather Denny drew a bases-loaded walk, and Shea Weaver had a RBI-single.
ASU's Kacee Camp tied the game in the fifth with a two-run homer off Jessica Harris.
Then in the eighth, an error helped load the bases when K.T. Tolbert hit a batter to walk in the go-ahead run. Sarah DeMuth's sac fly gave ASU the 7-5 lead.
GSW stranded nine in the game.
"We have been all year not getting timely except in the fourth," said Ward. "I think the kids are realizing can compete and win in the Peach Belt.
"When we had them down 5-3, we should have dominated. We gave up that home run; that was just a mistake. Those are mistakes we can't have at this level. The kids here are going to make you pay."
Martin pitched 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits. Harris pitched 1.1 innings, and Tolbert pitched the final three in taking the loss.
Buck extended her hitting streak to a team-high seven games.
GSW will host Francis Marion on Tuesday with the doubleheader starting at noon.
PICTURED: Gabby Buck
PHOTO BY: Chris Fenn