The almost daily afternoon rainfall has made for some pretty sloppy field conditions, as area softball and football teams try to prepare for the 2018 seasons. Wednesday it was sloppy play in the field that would do in the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jacket softball team, as 10 errors was just too much to overcome, and the Jackets lost a heartbreaker 8-7 to Wayne County.
“I really feel like our defense let us down today,” siad Southeast Bulloch coach Aimee Civalier. “Give credit to Wayne County for being able to put the ball in play, and coming up with a few timely hits, but we have to be able to make some of those plays in the field.”
Things looked good in the early stages for the Jackets as freshman pitcher Alana Barnhard worked a one two three first inning. She’d get some offensive help in the bottom of the inning as Kaylin McDuffie showed no ill effects form an injured shoulder that kept her out of the 2017 season, as she hit a towering three run homer to left to give the Jackets a 3-0 lead.
“It was great to see Kaylin back in the lineup, and to hit a home run in her first at bat was special,” Civalier said. “Our hitting was there for most of the game, that was definitely something to positive to take away from today.”
The errors began to pile up in the second inning, as a pair of errors were followed by an two run single by Whaley Moody to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Jackets got those two runs back in the bottom of the second as a hard hit ball by Gracie Burgin was thrown away by the Wayne County shortstop allowing two runs to score and giving the Jackets a 5-2 lead. A double by McDuffie brought in another run, but Katelyn Johnson was thrown out at home on the play for the third out leaving the score 6-2.
Three Southeast Bulloch errors in the fourth resulted in three more unearned runs as the Wayne County Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 6-5.
“The bottom line is we gave up way too many unearned runs,” Civalier said. “Alana Barnard pitched well enough to win the game — especially when we scored seven runs — but the errors killed us.”
Wayne County added two more runs in the top of the fifth on a two run double by Tyonne Wallace to give Wayne County their first lead of the game at 7-6.
Southeast Bulloch tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Mallory Lewis singled home Johnson from third with a drive up the middle to make the score 7-7.
Wayne County came right back in the top of the seventh as another Southeast Bulloch error was followed by a wild pitch, and eventually a fielder's choice would plate the go-ahead run for an 8-7 Wayne County lead.
Southeast Bulloch mounted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Singles by Alana Barnard and Lewis put runners on first and second, but with two outs Wayne County’s Maisie Palmer made a diving grab in shallow right to end the rally, and the game.
Next up for the Yellow Jackets they will travel to Tattnall County Friday where they are scheduled to play South Effingham and Long County in a tournament.