The GMC Prep softball team earned a big victory on Senior Day Tuesday.
The Lady Dogs beat the visiting Glascock County Lady Panthers in a 1-0 final score in extra innings.
The back-and-forth contest saw a fierce battle between the opposing pitchers, who notched 15 strikeouts between the two of them. GMC senior Bella Herring was rock-solid inside the pitcher’s circle, bolstered by a defense that allowed just five base hits on the night.
The win ended a three-game losing skid for the Lady Dogs, and second-year head coach Jennifer Deason was happy with the way her team bounced back.
“We needed this win,” Deason told The Union-Recorder after Tuesday’s win. “We’re a good ball team. We’ve just gotta have that self-confidence to show it.”
The early going saw the pitchers set the tone right off the bat. Glascock freshman Grace Kelley pitched three consecutive strikeouts to keep the Lady Dogs at all zeroes. Herring had two strikeouts of her own in the top of the first frame.
The top of the second saw Herring notch a clutch strikeout with the bases loaded, preventing the home team from giving up any early runs.
Later in the third, the tension declined as the Lady Dogs shut out their opponents. GMC senior MK Lawrence helped the cause with two big catches out in center field. However, another fruitless at-bat for the home team kept the score leveled at zero.
More dominant Lady Dog defense followed as the GMC seniors continued to shine on their day of honor.
Senior Dawn Bryan made a big play at second base to highlight the fourth inning, while the fifth inning saw just one hit allowed for the Lady Panthers.
In one of the most impressive plays of the game, GMC senior Jordan Spear caught a deep ball in left field to keep the shutout going in the top of the sixth. Once again though, the crowd favorites could not make inroads at the plate.
The seventh inning was a different story, however, and it did not fail to provide drama.
Absolute chaos ensued as Spear clocked what appeared to be a walk-off home run with senior Mallory Watts on base.
In a crazy turn of events, the umpire did not count the game-winning homer. He had ruled Watts out on the play for leaving the base early.
To the shock of the entire crowd, the contest extended to extra innings.
In an admirable response, the Lady Dogs allowed just one hit at the top of the eighth before tallying four consecutive hits to finish in style. GMC junior Kyra Dobler smacked the last hit of the night to knock in Spear for the game-clinching run.
Having been robbed of a potential walk-off home run on Senior Day, Spear was able to get on base again and give her team the victory.
“They robbed my senior of a home run, but I think that kind of fueled her for the next inning,” Deason said. “I’m super proud of my seniors. They’re a special group. We’re gonna miss them next year.”
GMC Prep dropped Wednesday’s game at 4A West Laurens 7-1 before defeating Houston County 8-5 Thursday. The Lady Bears from Warner Robins sit atop their region in Class 6A, so that’s a pretty good win for the Lady Dogs who seem to be gaining momentum at the right time. Lawrence and Herring knocked in a pair of runs each for GMC Prep in the victory.
The Lady Dogs will be back in action Wednesday when they host Monticello for their regular season finale. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. on Couch Field.