By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Local Roundup: Lady Gators win 2 at Bulloch Bash
dennard pitching best
Bulloch Academy sophomore Lauren Dennard pitches during a softball game Friday. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special to the Herald

    The Bulloch Academy fast-pitch softball rollercoaster came perilously close to jumping the tracks Friday afternoon against Gatewood, but it didn’t derail.
    The Lady Gators scored five runs in the third and held on for an 8-3 win in six innings over the Lady Gators from Eatonton in one of the opening games of the inaugural Bulloch Bash at the Georgia Southern University softball complex and the Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department’s Memorial Field.
In the late game, Bulloch Academy blanked defending Class AA state champion Arlington Christian, 1-0. In the opening inning, Ally Cheshire blasted a double to score Marianna Peeples, who was 2-for-3 for the game. Sophomore pitcher Lauren Dennard made the game’s only run stand as the Gators improved to 3-1.
    In other opening-round games, Westfield blanked Robert Toombs 4-0, Flint River Academy whipped David Emanuel 12-0 and Pinewood defeated Briarwood 10-1. In the second series of games, Bulloch #2 tied Flint River 2-2, Brentwood beat Pinewood 8-4, Windsor Academy nipped Robert Toombs 7-5 and Arlington beat Gatewood 6-1. The other late games Westfield beat Windsor, Brentwood beat Briarwood and Bulloch #2 beat David Emanuel.
    Errors almost came back to haunt BA in the latter innings against Gatewood but the young squad settled down to preserve the victory. Dennard got the win as the Lady Gators improved to 2-1.
    “We had a couple of innings when we booted the ball around a little bit,” said BA head coach Chandler Dennard. “Then we had a couple of innings where we looked great.”
    Ironically, it was an error which put Bulloch on top in the bottom of the third.
    “We drew a couple of timely walks to load the bases,” recalled Dennard. “Rachel (Gilbert) had a good base hit that was misplayed. The ball rolled to the fence. That’s a big mistake when Rachel is running the bases.”
    The BA senior plated Ashley Burke, Peebles and Mary Margaret Reeves, and raced around the bags herself, giving Bulloch a 5-1 lead.
    Gatewood pushed one run in the fourth and another in the fifth to cut the BA lead to 5-3.
    In the bottom of the inning, BA struck for three runs to increase the lead to 8-3.
    Taylor Collins singled and advanced to second and third on wild pitches. Cheshire drew a walk. Collins scored on a Page Spence fielder’s choice and Cheshire went to third on a wild pitch. Lauren Dennard drew a walk and Maddie Marsh was her courtesy runner. BA pulled off a double steal, plating Cheshire while Marsh wound up at third on the wild throw home. Marsh later stole home on a passed ball.
    “We did some good things,” said Dennard. “We’ve got some kids who have some real talent. The more they play, the better they will be.”
    Games begin today at 8:30 a.m. on all three fields of the GSU softball complex. The final contest is slated for 5:15 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and concessions are available.

Lady Panthers best Lady Eagles   
     Portal's Lady Panthers defeated Jenkins County's Lady Eagles in their season opener Friday 13-5 in the
6th inning.
    Megan Moore was the winning pitcher with five strikeouts. Nikki Sims had 2 hits; one was a triple. Mary Ashley Henley and Mary Lane each had 2 hits. Moore had two hits; one was a double.
    The Panthers play Johnson County on Tuesday at
5:30 p.m.

Krach joins Lady Eagles' staff
    A four-year standout for the Lady Eagles (1997-2001), Amy Krach returns to Georgia Southern University as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team. Krach comes to Georgia Southern after serving as an assistant coach for one season at Northgate High School following four years as an assistant at Berry College.
    “We are very excited about having Amy come back,” said GSU coach Rusty Cram. “She joins Mary [Perry] and Regina [Days-Bryan] as a former Lady Eagle to join the staff, just from a different time. She brings a wealth of contact and experience in recruiting from the state of Georgia. She knows many of the coaches and recruits already, and knows the system. We expect her to be a good fit in the program and make us an even better program.”
    A four-year letterwinner under the direction of Cram, Krach led the 1999-2000 team in three-pointers made, connecting on 36 in a team-high 109 attempts. Krach still ranks eighth in career blocks recorded (59) and held a career three-point record entering the 2009-10 season.
    “I’m really excited to be returning to Georgia Southern,” said Krach. “It feels like I’m coming back home and I’m excited to help continue the growth of the women’s basketball program that offered me so many opportunities when I was a student-athlete.”
    Krach holds a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Community Leisure Services from Georgia Southern University and is currently working towards a Master’s of Sports Science in Sports Coaching with the United States Sports Academy.

    If you have a score to report, please call the Statesboro Herald sports desk at (912) 498-9408.