Posted: Thursday, September 27th 2012 at 6:11am
Softball: Dawson shocks Buford, wins 7-AAA regular season
By Jeff Hart Staff
Jenna Abbott pitched a complete-game and had four hits in leading Dawson County to a 5-3 win over Buford to win the Region 7-AAA regular season title. / photo: Paige Sweany
BUFORD -- If the Dawson County girls softball team was wondering just how good it really is, it found out Wednesday against five-time state champion and Class AAA No. 1 Buford.
Auburn-signee Jenna Abbott scattered seven hits and fanned 11 in her longest outing of the season while leading the fourth-ranked Lady Tigers to a stunning 5-3 win over the Lady Wolves.
The game was a showdown of the top two teams in Region 7-AAA with the regular season title on the line.
“We knew most everyone didn’t give us a chance. But there were 17 people in the dugout that felt we had a chance,” Pruett said. “I can’t say enough how proud I am of the girls. Now we know that not only can we play with the best teams, we can beat them. This should definitely give us some confidence.”
For the left-handed Abbott, she displayed the kind of grit and ability she had hoped to be showing the entire season. But a shoulder injury limited her early in the season and until Wednesday, four innings had been her longest stint. She admitted she couldn’t watch the final out, a ground ball to third base by Buford’s Rebekah Rude.
“I was running on adrenaline the last inning but there was no way I was coming out,” Abbott said. “On the last out, I just closed my eyes and just waited for the cheering. I think that was probably the biggest win for us ever.”
Pruett said they may not have done themselves any favors with the win.
“We probably did put a target on our backs and you can bet Buford will be gunning for us (in the region tournament),” he said. “We definitely opened some people’s eyes. But I would rather have it this way than for us to doubt whether we can play with the best teams.”
Dawson County (15-6-1, 7-0 in region) will take the No. 1 seed into the region tournament, which begins Saturday at East Hall. Buford (19-2, 6-1) will be the No. 2 seed in the region tournament.
Dawson County wasted little time in showing it was ready to play. The Lady Tigers struck for three runs in the top of the first against Bria Bush, who had lost just once all season.
After a one-out walk to Martie Roger, Abbott ripped a double to left scoring Roger. Abbott would score two pitches later on a single by Joy Lewis through a drawn-in infield, and Lewis would later score when Kenna Seitz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Lady Tigers added to their lead in the fifth on a two-out, two-run double by Carly Gilreath scoring Natalie Burt, who had singled, and Tabitha Morrison, who had doubled. It looked like they were ready to roll to an unexpected easy win.
But Buford finally got its offense going. The Lady Wolves scored three times in the bottom of the fifth, sparked by a throwing error from Abbott. Then, three straight hits by Remington Hasty, Jordan Deep, and Tessa Daniels pulled the Lady Wolves to within 5-3.
The Lady Tigers had several chances to break the game open leaving the bases loaded in the first, fourth, and fifth innings. In the sixth they loaded the bases with no one out on three straight hits. But Bush struck out the next three batters to get out of the jam.
Bush took the loss going six innings and allowing a season-high 14 hits and five runs while fanning 10 and walking two.
For Buford, Deep and Daniels had two hits each and Hasty, Jazmin Hawkins, and Drew Puckett had one hit apiece.
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