The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets found themselves in a familiar position Wednesday as the No. 1 seed hosting a frisky No. 4 seed in Brantley County. The Jackets needed extra inning to put the Herons away in Game 1 as they won 2-1 in 10 innings, and then cruised to a 9-1 victory in a run-rule shortened Game 2.
The Jackets found themselves trailing 1-0 in Game 1 in the bottom of the sixth when pitcher Alana Barnard took things into her own hands driving a solo homer deep to center tying the game at 1-1.
The two teams went into the 10th inning tied at 1-1 and then went to putting a runner on second to start the 10th. The Herons were unable to score, and it looked as though the Jackets may join them as with the bases loaded and no out two straight pop ups looked as though the Herons may dodge a bullet. Pitcher Kira Altman had pitched a gem but unleashed a wild pitch that sent Olivia Horton husting home from third with the game winning run.
“Game one was a great defensive ballgame,” said SEB coach Aimee Civalier. “We had a hard time adjusting at the plate we got down early, but Alana came through at the plate with the homer and on the mound as well. I felt like whoever won that game would have the momentum for the second game and I’m glad it was us.”
Barnard and Altman battled it out in a pitcher's duel with Barnard coming through with 17 strikeouts and allowing only two hits and one walk. Altman scattered 11 hits and had five strikeouts.
Game 2 was more what the Jacket fans and coaches expected as up 2-0 they pulled away with seven runs in the fifth inning. Barnard and Delanie Thames each homered in the third to give the Jackets the early 2-0 lead.
Paisley Nordoff, Victoria Barton, Jaiden Sherrod and Barnard all collected hits and RBI’s in the decisive fifth inning.
“We struggled a little in the second game but came through with the big inning,” said Civalier. “Alana and Delanie both hit home runs and then Paisley helped start our rally in the big fifth inning to help us pull away. It was a great team win.”
The win secures the Jackets of home field in round two of the Class-AAA playoffs the Jackets will host the winner of Sandy Creek and White County next week at a yet to be determined time.