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Wilcox softball defeats Irwin, falls to Echols

ROCHELLE- The Wilcox County High School softball team played region games against Irwin County and Echols County this week. The Lady Patriots defeated Irwin County on the road Tuesday (August 21) afternoon before falling to Echols at home on Thursday.

Lady Patriots 12, Irwin County 7

Wilcox got the scoring started in the top of the first inning with a few two out hits. Maci Martin sent a base hit to centerfield to start the rally and Carlee Walls followed with a double to left field to give the Lady Patriots runners at second and third. JaMerical Marshall drew a walk to load up the bases and Grace Keene subsequently put Wilcox ahead with a two-run double to right field. Irwin picked up a run in the bottom half of the first, but Wilcox County led 2-1 entering the second inning.

The Lady Patriots went on to pick up four runs in the top of the second. MacKenzie White and Lexie Anderson opened the frame with back-to-back hits, and Chastity Stephens followed with a double to score courtesy runner, Camya Dawson and Anderson. Anna Tripp next knocked Stephens in with an RBI double and the final run of the inning came on another RBI hit from Grace Keene. Irwin kept themselves in the game however as they picked up two runs in the bottom of the second to make the score 6-3 in favor of Wilcox entering the third inning.

The teams swapped scoreless half innings during the third, but the Lady Patriots extended their lead in the top of the fourth frame. Walls hit her second double of the game with one out in the inning and was then chased home on an RBI single from Marshall. Grace Keene followed with a walk, and Jalynn Keene subsequently grounded out to first to move the runners to second and third. Marshall then scored on a two-out RBI single from Bailee Barnard to put Wilcox in front 8-3.

Irwin County had their biggest scoring inning in the bottom half of the fourth to get back into the game. Irwin loaded the bases with two walks and a base hit, and two more hits made the score 8-6. Stephens then came in to pitch in relief of Grace Keene and picked up a couple of strikeouts before allowing one more Irwin run to come around. A groundout ended the inning and Wilcox kept their lead intact at 8-7 going into the fifth inning.

The Lady Patriots picked up a big run in the top half of the fifth after Stephens reached base on an error and then scored on a double by Tripp. Stephens then pitched a scoreless bottom of the fifth and the Lady Patriots were able to pull away in the sixth inning.

Stephens and Tripp both hit two out singles in the top of the sixth and Martin drew a walk to load up the bases. Walls then came up with her third double of the game to clear the bases and put Wilcox up 12-7, and they held on for the win from there.

Jalynn Keene got the start in the circle for the Lady Patriots and pitched one and two thirds innings allowing three runs (just one earned run) on no hits and four walks. Grace Keene came in to pitch later in the game and pitched one and a third innings allowing four runs on three hits and four walks. Stephens then came in for the final four innings and closed the door on Irwin County, allowing no runs on just two hits and striking out six batters.

Walls was a crucial part of the Wilcox offensive output with three RBIs, three hits and two runs scored in five at bats. Grace Keene also played a big role in the batting order as she finished with two hits and three RBIs. Stephens scored three runs and knocked in two more on her two hits, while Tripp ended the game with three hits in five at bats with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Echols County 2, Lady Patriots 1

In Thursday’s game in Rochelle, Wilcox and Echols played a low scoring pitchers duel. The teams traded scoreless first and second innings before Echols was able to take the lead in the top of the third on a two-out solo home run.

Echols kept the lead up until the Lady Patriots tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Martin reached base on a dropped third strike with one out and Walls came up with a base hit to left to put Wilcox runners at first and second base. A defensive error by Echols County then allowed Martin to score the game tying run shortly after and the teams went into a decisive seventh inning to determine the winner.

Echols County retook the lead in the top half of the seventh with a two-out walk followed by a double to score the runner. Echols County was able to hang on in the bottom half of the inning to win the game 2-1.

Stephens pitched all seven innings for the Lady Patriots, allowing just two runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out six batters. Walls led the Wilcox batting lineup in the game with two hits in three at bats.

All stats were provided by Wilcox County and Echols County GameChanger accounts.

The Lady Patriots will head out on the road for their next game against Lanier County on Tuesday (August 28) with game time set for 5:55 p.m.