Thursday’s matchup between the two favorites for the Region 7-A Public crown was a bit of a letdown, especially if you were rooting for the home team.
After a two-inning stalemate, the Academy for Classical Education (ACE) of Macon seized control and took the region ballgame 8-0 against GMC Prep on Couch Field. ACE pitcher Dixiana Sims hurled five innings of two-hit ball, striking out 13 while walking only one in leading her team to victory.
The loss dropped GMC Prep Lady Dogs softball to just 2-3 on the season and caused second-year head coach Jennifer Deason and her staff to have a lengthy postgame discussion with their players after the game.
“We didn’t show up today, not to take anything away from ACE,” Deason told The Union-Recorder. “ACE is a good ball team, but we have to show up, too. It takes two teams to play a game, and we just didn’t have it today.”
The first two innings looked like the good game everyone was expecting between the region contenders. ACE threatened with two runners in scoring position in the second, but a strikeout followed by a fly ball to centerfield shut that threat down. The third frame was a different story though. Whether by hit, error or bunt the visiting Lady Gryphons were getting runners on and over. The formula worked in both the third and fourth innings as ACE plated four runs apiece in each turn at the plate.
The Lady Dogs were unable to answer offensively as they got next to nothing over on Sims’ pitching. Only three GMC Prep runners reached base, two via hits and the other thanks to a fruitless leadoff walk. It was the ACE pitcher’s hard throwing that gave the home team troubles.
“We’ve seen pitchers like her and been able to adjust a little better, but that just wasn’t the case today,” Deason said.
Thursday’s game was called early due to the up eight runs after five innings rule. Deason hopes her team remembers the loss and uses it as a springboard for the rest of the 2020 season.
“We’re going to chew on this loss a little bit and hopefully it will leave a sour taste in our mouths and spark a new day tomorrow,” she said.
The Lady Dogs are scheduled to play in an out-of-town tournament over the weekend but will be back on Couch Field Tuesday to host another region foe in Crawford County.