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Jenkins County ehads to state full of confidence

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    Jenkins County is just the type of team the opposition doesn’t want to see this time of year.
    Playing with full confidence and the belief that they’re playing their best ball of the year, the Eagles start their quest for a state championship Friday at 6 p.m. against Bacon County in Dublin, Ga.
    “We went into the region  (3-A) tournament fifth and came out third,” said JCHS coach Linda Sanders. “Now that we’ve gotten to Sectionals, let’s see if we can get to the Elite Eight. We’re working one game at a time.”
    The Eagles played five games last week in Pembroke, beating Calvary Day, Claxton and Portal. Their only two losses came to eventual region champ Savannah Country Day.
    “Everyone we had played — other than Calvary and Country Day — was always a tit-for-tat game,” said Sanders. “When we played Calvary during the (regular) season they would beat us by six or seven. When we came back the second day (at region )we were already assured a spot in the Sectionals so we were really calm and relaxed.”
    Jenkins (No. 3 seed, Region 3-A) would go on to beat Calvary, giving them all the confidence in the world against a Bacon County (No. 2 seed, Region 1-A) squad who lost to Calvary during the regular season.
    The Eagles win with speed. Ayana Walker and Zandra Lake wreak havoc on the base paths. Senior first baseman Lindsay Purvis is the team’s leading hitter and catcher Mackenzie Walker is one of four freshman that start.
    Crisalyn Walker, a junior, is the team’s main starter on the mound.
    “Just about everyone of them has exceeded from last year,” said Sanders. “They’re doing so much better than they did last year. I have a young team... but they’ve all stepped up to the plate like they’ve been playing forever.”
    If the Eagles win, they’ll play again Friday night at 8 p.m. against the winner of Treutlen County and Chattahoochee County. A loss would send them to a Saturday morning elimination game at 10 a.m.
    “The team is really just stepping up,” Sanders added. “They want it now more than they did. During the year we were kind of struggling because of the wins and losses. But I just kept drilling in their head — ‘Watch what comes out at the end’, and that’s what they’ve done. When we go to practice it’s like a whole different team. I just want my girls to know that (the city of) Millen supports them and is backing them all the way.”
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