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SEB gets walk-off win
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    BROOKLET — Some heads-up base running allowed Ansley Rushing to cross the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets (5-2) a 3-2 win over the Brantley County Lady Herons (4-1-1) Tuesday at SEB’s home opener.
    With the score knotted at two heading into the bottom half of the final inning, Rushing got things started with a leadoff walk. Brantley’s pickoff attempt from catcher Lacie Dowling sailed into left field putting Rushing on second, and SEB catcher Bridget Devlin got her to third with a grounder.
    “(Devlin) hit it to the right side, which was great, and got (Rushing) to third base,” said Yellow Jacket coach Aimee Civalier. “I tell the girls all the time, ‘It’s so important to move the runner.’ A passed ball can win you a game, and that’s exactly happened. Good job by Bridget getting her over, and (it was a) good jump by Ansley on the passed ball.”
    Ashley Clifton took a 1-1 pitch high that got by the BCHS catcher, and Rushing slid in under the tag for the win. It was the first loss of the season for Brantley County.
    It was costly mistakes that also put the Herons behind early.
    After a bases-loaded walk by Southeast freshman Deirdre Devlin drove in Clifton in the bottom of the second, the Jackets made the score 2-0 on a misstep by Brantley pitcher Chelsi Boatwright. Boatwright was called for defacing the ball when she grabbed a fistful of dirt and forgot to wipe her hand before applying her grip. The runners advanced, scoring Ciera Weaver from third and giving SEB a 2-0 advantage.
    Boatwright made up for it in the top of the sixth when she drove in two runs of her own with a bases-loaded single that knotted the score.
    The Southeast Bulloch defense prevented any other damage for pitcher Megan Barnwell, who tossed a complete game allowing four hits and striking out 15.
    “The one inning she got in trouble, there was a leadoff walk,” said Civalier. “That will hurt you right there, but she bounced back and came back strong.”
    Two Heron runs crossed the plate in the sixth, but with runners on second and third and nobody out, Barnwell fanned the next three batters.
    In the fourth inning, Brantley put runners on the corners with two outs on a Mallory Moore walk. Rushing saved a run with a diving grab when she used her free hand to touch second and end the scoring threat.
    “There was a first-and-third situation so we were expecting (Moore) to steal,” Civalier said. “(Rushing) was cheating towards the bag on that play. She was right there, laid out and made an awesome play.”
    The Jackets return to action Friday at the “Battle for the Boro” tournament when they take on Treutlen at 5:15 p.m. at Mill Creek.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.