The Upson-Lee Lady Knights (6-5, 1-2) softball team hosted their first Region 2 softball game of the season on Thursday, as they welcomed the Mary Persons Lady Bulldogs (6-1, 4-0) to T-Town.
Uspon-Lee sent senior Chelsea Wainwright to the circle for Upson-Lee, and Wainwright delivered a good performance. Although she allowed eight runs, only two runs were earned. Wainwright also contributed to the offense, connecting on a double to left-center field, one of only two Upson Lee hits in Lady Knights 8-0 loss.
“We knew Mary Persons was going to be a very formidable team,” said UL head coach Stephen Hammock. “They threw a very talented pitcher who shut us down. She had good movement, and stayed away from the barrels of our bats. We put the ball in play, only having five strikeouts, but we hit a lot of balls right at them. They had three early hits and put up three early runs, but they also had a double fall into no-man’s land, they hit a ball that hit the third base bag, and they had a bunt that stayed just fair hugging the line. We just didn’t catch those breaks. I felt Chelsea pitched for us. Unfortunately for us, what should have been a tight game turned into a run rule with some poor defensive play. To me, their pitcher was better than our offense, and that was the game. She was better than us that day, but we’ll get another chance at them, and try to play better and even the season series up.”
Both teams went down in order in the first inning, but in the second inning, Mary Persons belted two singles and added a stolen base to take a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the second inning, Wainwright hit a one out double. the Lady Knights had a runner in scoring position, but could not drive her in.
In the top of the third inning, the Lady Bulldogs added two more runs with two single, a bunt, two stolen bases, and one of four fielding errors by the Lady Knights.
Once again in the bottom of the third inning, the Lady Knights had another runner in scoring position after Mary Masdon McCrary doubled. However, once again Upson-Lee could not come through with a two-out hit.
The game remained 3-0 until the top of the fifth inning, when Upson Lee imploded defensively. The Lady Bulldogs scored three more runs to take a 6-0 lead after reaching on an error, two singles, and a double.
Upson Lee was held without a hit after the third inning, and Mary Persons added two more runs with the help of two more fielding errors from Upson Lee.
The 8-0 loss sends the Lady Knights’ record to 6-5 overall, with a 1-2 record in Region 2 play. This week the Lady Knights are in a tough stretch of games with three games in three days. The Lady Knights will travel to Kathleen to face Veterans today, travel to Columbus to face Brookstone in a double-header tomorrow, and host West Laurens on Thursday.
“Veterans and West Laurens are two of the big four, along with Mary Persons and Perry,” said Hammock. “We will keep grinding and see what happens. I don’t know what Veterans and West Laurens will throw at us, but we will continue to work hard in practice and play hard in games. Our success and ultimately winning revolves around executions. We’ve not done a very good job thus far in our losses of executing. We’ve lost five games, and in three of the five, we beat ourselves. Execution means making the routine plays, putting bunts down, swinging at strikes, hitting spots, letting the ball travel, hitting the top half of the ball, and overall being hard to beat.”