Statesboro head softball coach Matthew Meeks had a feeling the Blue Devils might struggle in the non-region portion of their schedule which featured some pretty good teams. He was right, as the Blue Devils started the season 0-8. Monday things finally paid off as Statesboro run-ruled region foe Brunswick at Mill Creek park winning 11-3.
Statesboro got solid pitching from Mincey Akins, and the offense continued to put the ball in play and got some timely hitting throughout the game including a 3-run homer from Kinsley James, her first ever high school home run.
“We’ve played some really tough teams and been in most of the games so I’m very happy for the girl’s that we were finally able to break through with a win,” said Meeks. “We really just focused on hitting the top half of the ball. Sometimes you face a little tougher pitching and it’s a little more difficult to do but we did it today. We may have had a couple fly balls but hitting the ball hard on the ground puts pressure on the defense and it paid off today.”
The Pirates actually started the scoring as they opened a 1-0 lead scoring on a Blue Devil error. Statesboro answer in the bottom of the first with three runs themselves all coming on Pirate errors. Brunswick finished the game with eight errors.
The Pirates threatened in the top of the second, but Statesboro pitcher Mincey Akins struck out two straight batters with runners on second and third to end a rally. Akins also came through with a bases loaded strikeout to end another potential rally in the fourth inning.
“I felt like Mincey really did a good job for us tonight on the mound,” said Meeks. “She came through with some big pitches when we got in a jam multiple times in the game.”
The Blue Devils put the game out of reach in the third and decisive inning as they scored five runs. Adison Marsh started the scoring with a double down the left field line to make it 4-1. A Brunswick error pushed the next run across the plate and then James did the rest of the damage as she launched her first ever home run to straight away center field for an 8-1 Statesboro lead.
Statesboro went on to score four more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a combination of Pirate errors and fielder’s choices/ Brunswick added two runs in the top of the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the run rule as Akins struck out Kimi Igon to end the game.
“We had a lot of two-strike hits today which really means a lot,” said Meeks. “We are hoping a win like today can help us to gain some momentum as we continue our region schedule. If we can just continue to keep our emotions in check and continue what we dd today I think we will be okay.”
Next up for the Blue Devils they will head to Glynn Academy for another region matchup Wednesday at 5 p.m.