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Appling storms ahead in 7th against SEB
Appling County's Halie Pierce, top, tags home for a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning despite the efforts of Southest Bulloch catcher Mary Manahan. Appling won 5-1.

    BROOKLET — For six innings, Southeast Bulloch quieted the potent bats of Appling County.
    The Lady Yelllow Jackets needed seven innings.
    Appling entered the top of the seventh inning facing a 1-0 deficit, but loaded the bases with one out before Mikela Barlow ripped a two-run single off of SEB’s Blair Chapman.
    Michaelin Thomas followed with an RBI grounder, Rachel Baucum hit a sacrifice fly, Taylor Carter added another run-scoring single and the Lady Pirates escaped with a 5-1 victory and a sub-region title.
    “This was a tough one,” SEB coach Aimee Civalier said. “I thought that we played pretty well. We just got to the end and couldn’t get those last few outs. Appling County is a good team, and to beat good teams you have to play well to the last out.”
    Barlow had plenty of incentive to come up big at the plate as her game-winning hit also gave her a win on the mound.
    Barlow was dominant for much of the night, striking out six Yellow Jackets while scattering just four hits. After all of the drama in the top of the seventh, she made sure that there would be no more rallies. Dallas McClellan led off the SEB half with an infield single, but Chapman lined into a double play and Lindsay Crosby grounded out to end the game.
    After two tough losses to the Pirates this season — the only sub-region setbacks for Southeast Bulloch — the Jackets were somber, but optimistic for the future.
    “We’re disappointed, but we also played well,” Civalier said. “I don’t think anyone is happy that we lost, but this was a big game against a very good team and we stayed with them the whole way.”
    For much of the game, a solitary unearned run looked as if it would hold up.
    Mary Manahan smacked a single for SEB with one out in the second inning and Kayla Perkins pinch ran for her. Dallas McClellan sacrificed Perkins to second.
    Chapman then grounded to shortstop. Perkins attempted to advance to third on the play and Tomberlin’s throw across the diamond from first base got away to bring Perkins home.
    From there, Barlow locked down and no SEB runner advanced past second the rest of the game.
    “(Barlow) did a great job tonight,” Civalier said. “She kept us off balance and located the ball well. We put the bat on the ball, but couldn’t manufacture much.”
    With the loss, SEB is resigned to taking the second seed out of its sub-region, but still has high hopes for the impending region playoffs.
    The Jackets have a pair of non-region games to close out the week and put an end to the regular season schedule before facing Brantley County — No. 3 seed out of the west sub-region — next Wednesday in Brooklet.
    The teams will play a best-of-three series, with the winner guaranteeing itself a spot in the state playoffs and the loser going home for the winter.
    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.