Down 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bulloch Academy Lady Gators scratched out two runs to send Thursday’s GISA Region 4-AAA matchup with Pinewood Christian Academy into extra innings.
The Lady Patriots pushed a run across in the top of the eighth, but the Lady Gators couldn’t answer back in the bottom of the inning as Pinewood took a 3-2 victory and confused the playoff picture even more.
Pinewood meets John Milledge Academy on Monday to finish a suspended game where the Lady Trojans have a 5-1 lead.
“If John Milledge beats Pinewood,” said BA head coach Chandler Dennard, “we are the number two seed in the region. If Pinewood wins, there will be a three-way tie for first.”
The Lady Gators (15-6 overall, 4-2 in the region) could have been masters of their own destiny with a victory and it looked as if they might pull it off in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Ashley Burke reached safely on a PCA error. Mary Margaret Reeves laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her to second. Rachel Gilbert singled over the second baseman’s outstretched glove to put runners on the corners. Marianna Peebles blasted a hot shot off the PCA first baseman, scoring Burke and sending the swift Gilbert to third. Taylor Collins ripped a single to short left to plate Gilbert and knot the score at 2-2. With two outs, Peebles was on third and Collins was on second when Maddie Marsh drew a walk to load the bases. But Amelia Akins was thrown out on a close play at first to end the inning.
In the top ot the eighth, PCA’s Edie Threlkeld was put on second by the international tie-breaker rules. Threlkeld stole third and was driven home on Ashlin Stevenson’s sacrifice fly to left for a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Akins was put on second and Danielle Atkinson was brought in to run for her. With one out, pinch hitter Meghan Barber hit a shot in the hole up the middle but Atkinson overran third base and was caught in a rundown. With two outs, Reeves beat a slap hit to put runners on the corners. But Gilbert flew out to right to end the game.
“Two things happened,” said a dejected Dennard. “We couldn’t get a key hit when we needed one and the stupid coach got his runner thrown out at third.”
Gilbert and Reeves had two hits each for Bulloch as the Lady Gators touched winning pitcher Shaina Kennedy for seven hits. Losing pitcher Lauren Dennard gave up just four hits (singles to Stevenson, Kaylyn Hagan, Katelyn Ray and Jessie Knauss) and had seven strikeouts with just one walk.
Both defenses shined as the game was scoreless through five innings. PCA struck for two runs in the sixth on three hits and one BA error.
Bulloch travels to Macon Monday for its regular-season ending contest with Mount de Sales.
BA JV wins big
Big plays ruled the day as Bulloch Academy whipped David Emanuel Academy 38-8 in junior varsity football action Thursday.
Lanier Olliff threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jakob Johnson and a 34-yarder to Will Rushing. Andrew Howell scored on a 57-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. Jake Hagan had a 51-yarder and Lee Waters added a 43-yarder as the Gators (3-1) had a 38-0 lead by halftime.
Rushing connected with Hagan and Henry Blitch for two-point conversions and also ran for one. Jack Fortune converted a two-point conversion.
Defensive leaders for Bulloch were Will Kauber with five tackles, Hayden Haynes with five solo stops, Tyce Lovett and Braxton Brinson with four each, Brett Thomas with three and two interceptions, Waters with two and an interception and Dylan Stuckey with a fumble recovery.
The Gator JV travels to Louisville next Thursday to take on Thomas Jefferson Academy.
Eagles open SoCon volleyball slate
Coming off the SpringHill Suites Invitational Championship, the Georgia Southern Volleyball team embarks on the 2010 Southern Conference season this weekend with a pair of matches on the road. The Eagles will travel first to Wofford today and then head to 2009 SoCon South Division regular season champion Furman on Saturday.
Georgia Southern, winners of six of its last eight matches, completed the tournament portion of the schedule with an 8-6 record. The record was highlighted by four sweeps and the SpringHill Suites Invitational crown. Sophomore setter Kate Van Dyke was named the Tournament MVP after logging 12.13 assists per set in the four matches. Van Dyke was joined on the all-tournament team by juniors Bethany Sanford and Parker Small. Sanford led the team in kills with 58 with Small right behind at 53. In addition, Small added eight blocks, while Sanford collected 55 digs. Moriah Bellissimo led in the back court with 63 digs.