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Devils pick up seasons first W
Statesboro High's Meghan Cassedy races to home plate while scoring the tying run in the fifth inning Friday against East Laurens.
    The Statesboro Blue Devils are finally in the win column.
    After an 0-3 start to the season, SHS notched its first victory of 2007 with a thrilling 5-4, come-from-behind win over East Laurens on Day One of the Battle in the Boro Tournament at Mill Creek.
    “It feels really good — finally!” said shortstop Whitney Lucas of her squad’s first win.
    With runners at the corners and nobody out in the bottom of the fifth, it was Lucas who battled ELHS reliever Sammy Southerland in a seven-pitch at-bat to drive in the game-tying run from third.
    “It felt pretty good,” said Lucas. “It was an outside pitch. It was there so I just hit it. (I was thinking) just to hit it as far as I could.”
    Lucas’ lift to left brought home Meghan Cassedy from third, who had led off the inning with a walk, to tie the game at four.
    During Lucas’ at-bat, Tiffany Lee, running for Erin Hice who reached on an error, had stolen second. After Lucas’ sac fly, Lee then took off for third during Brittany Raines’ at-bat and scored when the throw from catcher Anna Avret sailed into left field for the game’s decisive run.
    “It feels good to get that first win under the belt,” said SHS coach Karry Parker.  “Especially with all the situations we put ourselves in which we could have lost the game easily.”
    The Blue Devils quickly put themselves in a 3-0 hole in the first after the Lady Falcons loaded the bases with nobody out on a walk, fielder’s choice and single. Clean-up hitter Lauren Davis then smashed a two-run double to right and a single to left by Chay Cephus made the score 3-0.
    Things may have gotten worse for SHS, but Stephanie Butler, making her first start of the season, pegged out a runner at home on a single to right by Christy Giles and the Devils escaped any further damage in the inning.
    Statesboro cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the first on a safety squeeze by Raines scoring Hice. The Lady Devils cut the score to 3-2 when Butler squeezed home Abby Watkins in the bottom of the second.    
    East Laurens added a run in the third after Giles began the inning by reaching on an error. Christa Knight then tripled to deep left with one out to make the score 4-2.
    Watkins scored the Devils’ third run in the bottom of the fourth while the Falcons were distracted by Bridgett Lee being picked off second.
    “They’re not giving up,” said Parker of her team. “We’re losing some games and the kids are making some errors, but the kids have been doing a good job of just erasing it and moving on. Every inning’s a new one, which is how it’s got to be if you’re ever going to come back.”
    The Blue Devils hit the field today at 9 a.m., facing Ola out of McDonough and will then play again at either 12:30 or 2:30 p.m.

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.