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BA must outlast TSA to advance

    The Bulloch Academy Lady Gators will attempt to pull the figurative thorns from their sides today when they travel to Macon to battle Tattnall Square Academy in the second round of the GISA Class AAA state softball playoffs.
    Bulloch (18-10) is 0-6 against the Lady Trojans. The squad lost four times this season and twice last year.
    “We’ve been in four of the six games,” BA head coach Chandler Dennard said of his fifth-ranked Lady Gators. “We’ve even led in several of them. It was just a matter of finishing.”
    First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. with the second game to follow at 5 p.m. A third game, if necessary, is slated for 7 p.m.
    According to Dennard, the second-ranked Lady Trojans (31-2) have consistent pitching, good defense and hit with a lot of
    “The big thing is that the heart of their lineup, batters three, four and five, are major power hitters,” he said. “Jade Moncrief hit 10 home runs last year. I don’t know what she has this season though.”
    But Dennard thinks that the main thing that his girls must overcome is the Tattnall Square mystique.
     “We’ve got to get over the mindset that we can’t beat them,” said Dennard. “The crazy thing is that we have beaten Brentwood, which is the number one team in the state, three out of four times this season. We played Brentwood when we were in Double A and beat them so we are comfortable playing them. But when we go up against some of the long-time Triple A teams, we fold. We have got to change that mindset. We’ve got to believe that we can compete and play with anybody.”
    If the BA girls can play as well as they did in their first-round series against Southland Academy on Tuesday, they have an excellent chance of advancing to Saturday’s Final Four in Dublin.
    Bulloch swept the best-of-three series with a dominating 18-3 victory in the first game and a 9-5 win in the second game. The Lady Gators collected 24 hits on the day.
    “If we hit the ball like we did against Southland,” said Dennard, “we will be fine. I think we are playing better. Actually, everything starting coming around about three weeks ago when we went up there to play Tattnall (a tight 6-4 loss on Sept. 15). They are going to get their hits and there’s nothing that we can do about that. But if we play like we are capable of playing and cut down on the mistakes, I think it will be a very good series.”