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Errors costly for Lady Devils
bw SHS softball 4 col
Statesboro’s Kristen Deal shows her frustration while batting in the Blue Devils’ season opener Monday. - photo by GRAYSON HOFFMAN/Herald Correspondent
    The Lady Blue Devils of Statesboro opened their season on a tough note Monday night at Mill Creek, losing to Swainsboro 15-4. Statesboro committed seven errors in the loss, and the visiting Tigers took advantage with a six-run second and five-run seventh.
    “We had seven errors and that’s just way too many in a game,” said SHS coach Karry Parker. “We just haven’t had enough practice to fix the things that we know, we’ve just been trying to hide them or patch them over. We’ll get it, it’s just seven errors is too many.”
    Two of those errors came in the top of the second inning, leading to a six-run outburst from Swainsboro.
    After a scoreless first, Jade Newsome led off the top of the second with a ground ball to second which couldn’t be handled. Staring pitcher Brittany Raines then gave up a walk and a single before another misplayed a grounder off the bat of Heather Hopkins made the score 1-0. Sybrena Rogers then walked with the bases loaded, Skye Hodges was hit in the foot, Erin McIntyre walked and then Newsome lined a double to left center after two groundouts, and the Tigers were up 6-0.
    Meanwhile, Raines held down the Devil batters for 2 2/3 innings before Meghan Cassedy singled with two out in the third. But Raines then got Kittrella Mikell to hit a come backer to the mound, and the righty then set down nine of the next 12.
    Despite the lack of offense from Statesboro, Parker was pleased with the minimal strikeouts and the ability of her team to put the ball in play.
    “We only struck out twice,” said Parker. “We hit the ball hard every time we hit it. That’s good for us, to be aggressive with the bat.”
    Swainsboro held a 9-1 lead going into the seventh after Raines singled home Mikell in the bottom half of the sixth to give the Devils their first run of the season. The momentum was short lived.
    Swainsboro (1-0) scored six times on two more Blue Devil miscues and had five straight singles at one point in the innings. The Lady Tigers amassed 17 hits.
    Statesboro mounted a mini-threat in its final at-bat. Abigail Watkins started the inning by reaching on an error to third, followed by Kristin Deal’s grounder to second which was also misplayed.
    Bridget Lee then hit into a fielders choice to put runners on the corners. Tiffany Lee sac flied home Watkins, Meghan Cassedy singled to left and then Mikell was hit by a pitch. Whitney Lucas then reached on another error to third and Raines reached on an error to second to close the gap to 15-4. But that was all the Blue Devils (0-1) could muster.
    Raines threw over 150 pitches in the loss, striking out two. Macy Lawson allowed just five hits over 97 pitches to get the win.
    Statesboro returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Wayne County at 5 p.m.