The Statesboro Blue Devil softball team was in desperate need of a win after dropping a couple of region games. The Evans Knights made it to the Class 6-A final four last year and have three Division 1 prospects, so the Blue Devils looked to have their hands full, but stepped up with a solid performance and a 4-2 victory Monday at Mill Creek Park.
“Our bats have been so cold lately it was nice to see us come around a bit,” said Statesboro coach Jim Simmons. “We had some good at bats, some well struck balls and Brinson Anne Rogers was solid on the mound, and we defensed well.”
The Blue Devils took an early 1-0 lead as Bailee Roberts singled, and later came home to score on a sacrifice fly by Mckenzi Wilkerson. The Knights came back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. Diamond Williams — who was four for four in the game — singled to right with the bases loaded, Brinson Anne Rogers was able to get a strikeout though to end the inning.
Rogers would go on to strike out the next seven Knights batters to give the Blue Devil offense a chance and they’d come through in the bottom of the second.
Singles by Jena Coble and Jamiah Jones, would set things up for Roberts, who crushed a double to the gap in right center. Jones nearly lapped Coble on the bases, but both runners scored to give Statesboro a 3-2 lead.
“That was one of the more interesting baserunning situations I have seen,” Simmons said. “When you have speed like JJ on the back end, I guess that can happen as they scored one step apart.”
Wilkerson gave the Blue Devils a little breathing room in the third with a solo home run to left center, that cleared the fence in a hurry, for a 4-2 lead.
Rogers would do the rest on the mound, as she finished with 15 strikeouts in the game, including the last out, which stranded a runner on second.
Statesboro now sits at 12-7 overall and 2-3 in region play. The Blue Devils will sew up a spot in the state, and at least the No. 4 seed in the region tournament with a win Tuesday at New Hampstead.
“We still have all of our goals ahead of us,” Simmons said. “A win will help us reach one of our goals, and then we will have to get hot in the region tournament in order to try and secure ourselves a home game for the state.”
Statesboro will be hosting Wayne County at 6 p.m. Thursday in a 'gold out'.The Blue Devils will be going gold in order to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer. Gold beads, lapel pins and lemonade will be sold at the game to raise money and donations are also being accepted. Prior to the main event, a junior varsity game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.