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Lady Gators win first complete game
Bulloch Academy senior Lauren Dennard delivers to the plate Friday afternoon against Mount de Sales. She scattered six hits in as many innings of work and struck out four to lead the Lady Gators to a 9-2 win over the Lady Cavaliers. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special to the Herald

    It looked doubtful for a while but the Bulloch Academy Lady Gators finally finished a softball game.
    After having two postponed by rain and lightning earlier this week, Friday’s non-region contest against Mount de Sales looked as if it were headed the same way.
    But BA head coach Chandler Dennard headed a grounds crew that covered the infield with two blue tarps before a mid-afternoon storm and worked hard after the deluge to get the field in playing condition.
    “We were extremely bound and determined to get this game in,” he said. “We needed to see live pitching and get back into our rhythm before we start our region schedule. Mount de Sales, which has seen its share of rainouts, drove two hours from Macon to get here. So we really, really wanted to play.”
    The Lady Gators responded to all of the pre-game effort by pounding the Lady Cavaliers 9-2.
    “For almost two weeks, we have probably only taken two days of infield practice because of the weather,” said Dennard. “It’s been hard to get into any kind of rhythm. But today we got it going a little bit.”
    Senior Lauren Dennard scattered six hits through as many innings and struck out four while giving up no free passes.
    While Bulloch’s defense was stellar at times, the big deal of the day for Coach Dennard was the way his girls hit the ball.
    “The most important thing is that we put the ball in play,” he said. “In high-school softball, if you hit the ball hard and put it into play, good things are going to happen.”
    Bulloch pounded MDS pitching for nine hits; two from senior Mary Margaret Reeves, two from sophomore Page Spence and one each from senior Marianna Peebles, juniors Kaylee Lanier and Danielle Atkinson, sophomore Ashley Burke and freshman Kaleigh Sisolak.
    During the first inning, a steady, soaking rain threatened to send the players to their respective dugouts but the precipitation stopped when the Gators came to bat. In the latter innings, the sun even shone through the clouds.
    BA (5-4) pulled away in the second, scoring six runs on three hits and taking advantage of two MDS errors.
    Sisolak started it off with an infield single and advanced to second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch. Lanier drew a walk. Dennard took first on a fielder’s choice but Sisolak beat the throw home to the first run of the game.
    With two outs, Reeves’s bunt single scored Lanier. Spence reached on an error and Dennard crossed the plate on the play. Burke also reached on an error while both Reeves and Spence raced around the bases to score. Peebles’ single to right plated Burke.
    The Lady Cavs (1-4) got one back in the top of the third and added another run in the sixth. But Bulloch scored three in the bottom of the inning on hits from Atkinson and Spence, a base-on-balls to Reeves, a wild pitch and an error.
    Bulloch hosts non-region opponent Thomas Jefferson Monday at 4 p.m. and travels to Waynesboro Tuesday to tangle with Edmund Burke. On both days, middle-school games will follow the varsity contests.