The Hanes Middle School Lady Dragons took down the once-undefeated Lady Jaguars of Southeast Middle School during a recent softball showdown.
The Lady Dragons opened the game with an explosive four-run lead in the first inning led by Shortstop Brianna Lucero’s triple. It was followed by an in-park homerun by third-base player Meghan Doty. Back-to-back doubles from catcher Autumn Nicholson and centerfielder Abriel Noyes – who later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Hannah Moore – signaled that the game was a lock.
“We came out strong that inning,” said Coach Jonne’ “J.L.” Hayes. “We held them scoreless on defense and the bats were hot!”
The bats did not stay hot for the Dragons, as they went scoreless for the next two innings and only scored one run in the fourth. The drought allowed the Jaguars to sneak their way back into contention. With a flurry of hits and runs led by Jaguar Shortstop J. Hart and Pitcher R. Ranson, the Jaguars tied the game at 4-all, while shutting down the Dragons’ offense.
The fire returned for the Dragons in the fifth and deciding inning.
Nicholson started the rally with a deep line drive that bounced over the wall for a ground-ruled double. Noyes followed with a single down right-field line. It was then that Coach Hayes went to “Small-Ball” strategy: sending Moore, Sarah Rice and Jenna Barnes to the plate to bunt.
The tactic worked. The Jaguars found it difficult to stop the flood and the Dragons picked up an impressive 9–4 win and positioned themselves for a first-round bye in the play-offs. The team was tied for second in the Forsyth County Middle School Softball League as the playoffs started this week at Reagan High School. The last playoff game will be today (Thursday, Oct. 10) at 5:30 p.m.