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Jackets get the shutout against struggling Devils
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    The good news for Statesboro is that the Lady Devils are showing signs of improvement. The bad news? SHS has yet to find the win column.

    Visiting Wayne County scored five runs in the fourth inning and held on from there for a 5-0 win over Statesboro Wednesday at Mill Creek.

    Despite the loss, the Devils committed just two errors, down from seven during Monday’s loss to Swainsboro.

    “We set a few team goals — for errors we wanted four or less,” said SHS coach Karry Parker. “We set goals for (starter) Brittany (Raines) pitching which she met. (Wayne County) hit the ball well, they’ve always been a great hitting team.”

    Raines (0-2) held WCHS scoreless for the first three innings with some help from her defense. With two outs in the top of the third, Lindsey Nobles drew a walk, Samantha Hagans singled on a bloop over second and Lauren Yeargan reached on a single to third.

    That set the stage for Briana Collier, who smacked a grounder to second. Blue Devil second baseman Kittrella Mikell made a backhanded stab, then dove to the bag with her glove to get the final out of the inning.

    The Devils (0-2) failed to capitalize on the momentum, however, and Wayne County plated five runs in the top of the fourth on five hits, two sacrifices, one error and a walk to produce the final margin.

    That was plenty of runs for WC starter Yeargan, who allowed just two hits in the complete game win. Yeargans struck out four and had seven assists as she induced seven comebackers to the mound. “We put the ball in play an awful lot again,” said Parker.

    “It’s just not getting through yet and that’s the stuff that’s going to take a little bit of time.”

    Statesboro mounted one last rally in its final at-bat after two Devils reached on consecutive Yellow Jacket errors. But with two outs, pinch-hitter Erin Denmark lined a shot off Yeargan’s glove, which was then scooped up by short stop Bethany Gunter who fired to first to end the game.

    The Blue Devils return to action Tuesday when they travel to Brooklet to face Southeast Bulloch. For now, Parker isn’t concerned with the big innings that seem to be the downfall of the Devils early on.

    “I think it’s early right know,” said Parker. “We’ve had two weeks of practice, and not even a full two weeks with the heat index policy. As we get into the flow of the game and as we get into better shape, we’ll do better.”

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