The Jackson County softball team has kept rather busy since its extra-inning disappointment against Jefferson last week.
The Panthers (9-4-2, 5-2) have won four of their last six games -- including a 4-3 win Tuesday over Oglethorpe County in another extra inning contest -- since falling to the Dragons 5-4 in eight innings Sept. 9.
“Again, I don’t feel like Jefferson is better than we are,” coach Lisa Robinson said. “I feel like it’s a competitive rivalry. But I feel like we should have beat Jefferson. I’m still thinking that we’re preparing to bounce back from that when they come here. Obviously, we want to win against them.”
Jackson County catcher Madison Whitmire throws down to second between innings in the Panthers' Sept. 9 game against Jefferson.
Jackson County remains one game behind second-place Jefferson (6-1) in the Region 8-AA South and two and a half games behind subregion leader North Oconee.
The Panthers play in a tournament at North Hall this weekend and return to subregion action Tuesday at home against Elbert County.
Jackson County earned its Tuesday victory by scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth after a Macey Latty grounder rolled under the glove of Oglethorpe County’s second baseman, allowing Mason Garland to score. Robinson said the game shouldn’t have been that close, noting her team’s defensive miscues.
“I felt like we gave them the three runs that they had,” Robinson said. “We scored the four that we had because we’re hitting the ball ... but we had four defensive errors, thus the three runs they have on the board.”
Victoria Fontana and Latty both went 2-for-4 in the win. Other offensive leaders were Madison Whitmire (1-for-3), Brooke Griggs (1-for-4), Haley Shinall (1-for-4) and Ashleigh Lance (1-for-4).
Shinall threw an eight-inning one-hitter, striking out eight batters. She surrendered no earned runs.
Jackson County came into the Oglethorpe County game having won three of five contests over the weekend in a tournament at Oconee County, beating Jackson High School (5-1) and Winder-Barrow (6-1) and routing Class AA’s no. 9 ranked team, Dodge County, 7-1.
“This weekend, my girls played so great as a united team,” Robinson said. “Finally.”
The coach also noted how well her team hit during the tournament. Whitmire went 8-for-13 over the weekend and homered against Dodge County. Lance also had a homerun against Jackson High School. Fontana had four hits and a .364 average.
“Whitmire was a major offensive leader this weekend, but other than that - each girl consistently contributed hits, we were able to string them together and pull out great victories,” Robinson said.
The coach said the Panthers have yet to play their best softball.
“We have got all the potential in the world, and once we play to that, there’s going to be a bigger gap than one run,” Robinson said, referring to Tuesday’s score.