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Bulloch Academy season ends at the hands of TSA

Bulloch Academy season ends at the hands of TSA

Bulloch Academy season ends at the hands of TSA

Bulloch Academy's Madelyn Vickery pit...

    MACON — Two explosive half innings were the difference between victory and defeat for Bulloch Academy in the second round of the GISA Class AAA state softball tournament against Tattnall Square Academy Thursday.
    In Game One, it was the bottom of the first. In Game Two, it was the top of the fourth.
    In the first game of the best-of-three series, the Lady Trojans shocked the Bulloch County girls by scoring seven runs in the opening inning and run-ruling the Lady Gators 10-2 in six innings. In the second contest, TSA broke open a scoreless game with a five-run fourth inning and held on for a 5-1 decision.
    Tattnall Square (31-3) advances to Saturday’s ‘Final Four’ weekend in Dublin. Bulloch Academy’s season ends with the losses.
    “Tattnall proved why they are the number one team in the state,” said BA head coach Chandler Dennard. “They hit the ball hard and made some great defensive plays. If they play in the next two rounds like they did against us today, I feel like they will win the state championship.” 
     The Lady Trojans flexed their offensive muscles in the first game, notching 15 hits off BA senior starter Madelyn Vickery and sophomore Ansley Daughtry. Vickery pitched five innings and Daughtry threw in the sixth.
    Bulloch started out strong in the top of the first, getting runners on the corners with no outs. But a putout and two strikeouts ended the threat.
    TSA then unleashed its game-winning barrage against Vickery and company, getting six hits and taking advantage of one error for a demoralizing 7-0 lead after one complete inning.
    “When the girls came off the field,” said Dennard. “I told them that the bad thing was we were down by seven. The good thing was that it was just the first inning. We still had our chances to get back into the game.”
    Bulloch tried to do just that, clawing out two runs in the top of the second on two hits and two TSA errors.
    Sophomore Hannah Dasher roped a soft single to left and was safe at second thanks to a throwing error on junior Kristin Kingery’s fielder’s choice. Senior Danielle Atkinson laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases. Junior Ashley Burke drilled a pitch back up the middle to score Dasher and Kingery. Burke led the Gators with three hits while Dasher added two.
    But TSA got one back in the bottom of the inning for an 8-2 lead.
    The second game was a defensive battle.
    “When we hit the ball, it was right at somebody,” said Dennard. “The same went for them. Both teams played great defense and had solid pitching.”
    In the top of the fourth, the Lady Trojans got in the groove. They touched Vickery for five hits, a triple, three doubles and two singles, as they notched five runs for the game’s first lead.
    “Even then,” said Dennard, “we still had our chances to get back into the game.”
    But the TSA girls made some incredible defensive plays to contain the Lady Gators.  Bulloch avoided the shut-out in the seventh inning when sophomore Kaleigh Sisolak reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Atkinson’s two-out double to center field.
    “Some days, it just goes like that,” said Dennard. “I was very proud of the way our kids battled and gave ourselves the opportunities to come back.”

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