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SC takes 'Boro tourney title
082810 BORO BATTLE 02 web

    After a long day of softball, one tough game remained, but Screven County dug deep and pulled out a 3-2 victory over South Effingham to clinch the Gold bracket title of the Bash in the Boro Saturday night at Mill Creek Regional Park.
    As is normally the case, the Lady Gamecocks rode the strong right arm of ace pitcher Marla Thompson to success. The senior went the distance, striking out 10 and walking none to earn the win.
    “Marla went out and pitched us another gem,” said Screven coach Billy Pollock. “We played great defense behind her and shut down South Effingham, which was probably the best hitting team here.”
    After Thompson breezed through the top of the first, the Gamecocks went right to work.
    Tiffanie Burns and Rochelle Shuman each recorded RBI singles in the bottom half for a quick 2-0 advantage. Screven could have built an even bigger lead, but — always aggressive on the base paths — had three runners thrown out at home in the inning.
    “It gave us some confidence scoring early,” said Pollock. “We wished some of the calls at the plate would have gone our way to make it 4-0, but we got a lead and held on.”
    The Lady Mustangs fought back in the third when Mallory Ferguson reached third after a fielding error by Madison Torres.
    Alexis Mercer singled home Ferguson to cut the lead to 2-1, but Thompson recorded back-to-back strikeouts to escape the jam.
    Screven reclaimed a two-run lead in the bottom half on an RBI single by Courtney Burns that scored Tiffanie Burns from second base.
    Mercer struck again in the fifth with an RBI double, but killed the Mustang rally when she was caught stealing third to end the inning.
    That was all the help Thompson would need the rest of the way as she retired the last seven South Effingham batters in order to seal the win.
    “It’s huge for us to win this tournament,” said Pollock. “We got to compete against some quality competition and had a chance to face some of the toughest pitching we’ll see all year, so it’s good to come out on top.”
    Screven faced some of its toughest competition of the season in the semifinals of the gold bracket, but rose to the challenge.
    Thompson was in top form, keeping Parkview in check and striking out eight as the Gamecocks notched a 7-2 win.
    After Screven grabbed an early 2-0 lead, Parkview staged a rally.
    The Lady Panthers put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fifth, and Sara Coker laced a two-strike single to tie the game.
    The Gamecocks took the lead back and blew the game open in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on first and third, Cas Austin stole second base and Madison Torres plated the go ahead run on a Parkview throwing error. Two more Panther errors kept the Screven rally going and RBIs by Tiffanie Burns and Lauren Thomas put the game out of reach as Thomas finished of the Parkview bats in the final inning.

    Metter got off to an 0-2 start at Bash in the Boro, but the Lady Tigers rebounded with a 12-5 win over East Laurens for a spot in the Silver bracket.
    Many of the fireworks came in the early innings for the Tigers and Lady Falcons.
    After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, Metter rebounded with four of its own in the bottom half.
    East Laurens rallied again in the second for a 5-4 lead, but Metter was able to seize control for the rest of the game.
    Three Falcon errors in the bottom of the second allowed the Tigers to get a rally started and Roslyn Pittman – who knocked in three in the game – notched a two-run double to give Metter a 9-5 lead.
    Both teams would settle down and the Tigers were able to hold their advantage into the final inning. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, senior Lexi Allen drove a ball beyond the outfielders and circled the bases for a three-run home run as the time clock expired for a 12-5 win.
    Metter dropped its semifinal matchup in the Silver bracket to Richmond Hill, but came back to top Savannah Christian by a 6-0 margin in the consolation game for a 2-3 record on the weekend.

    Portal and Cross Creek hooked up in a seesaw battle Saturday morning.
    The Lady Panthers grabbed an early lead, but were unable to hang on as the Lady Razorbacks tied the game at the end of regulation and outlasted Portal in two explosive extra innings.
    Nikki Sims staked the Panthers to an early lead in the second inning when she laced a bases clearing, three-run triple for a 4-1 Portal advantage.
    Cross Creek got two runs back in the fifth inning when Alli Hildebrand split the gap in left center for a two-run triple, and the Razorbacks were able to push across one more in the sixth to force extra innings.
    Portal took an 8-5 lead in the eighth inning with RBI hits by Sims, Mary Ashley Hennon and Megan Anderson, but Hildebrand smacked another two-run triple in the bottom half of the inning and Lindsey Peterson singled her home to tie the game once more.
    A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs and Megan Rouse lined a Hennon offering into left center to bring home Peterson for a 9-8 Razorback victory.
    The loss dropped Portal to the tournament’s Bronze bracket with an 0-3 record in pool play, but the Panthers went on to defeat East Laurens in the Bronze bracket semifinals, then rolled past Swainsboro to claim the Bronze title.

    Statesboro’s difficult run to start the season continued as the Lady Blue Devils finished the tournament without a win.
    The Devils (0-8) had their best chance for a win Friday night, battling Cross Creek to a 5-5 game entering the final inning, but a Lady Razorback rally gave them an 8-5 win.
    Parkview and Richmond Hill also defeated Statesboro in the opening round with Swainsboro and East Laurens getting the better of the Devils in the Bronze bracket of the tournament.   

Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.