Faced with must-win situations, the Jackson County Comprehensive High School softball team continues to do just that.
After falling to Banks County 5-4 Monday in extra innings in the first round of the region tournament, Jackson County rebounded in the losers’ bracket with a pair of wins by a combined 15-2 margin. (For coverage of JCCHS's rematch with Jefferson, see the story and photos).
The Panthers (16-10-2) routed East Jackson 8-1 Monday and then beat Banks County 7-1 Tuesday in a rematch.
Jackson County plays again Thursday at 5 p.m. at North Oconee against an opponent to be determined. One more victory assures the Panthers of a spot in the state playoffs.
Against East Jackson, Brooke Griggs, Madison Whitmire and Andrea Ledford all had doubles to lead JCCHS over the Eagles, while Victoria Fontana, Mason Garland, Kortnee Satterfield and Macey Latty, all had hits.
Satterfield recorded the win on the mound, allowing one score, which came in the third inning.
Region tournament aside, the win was important to Jackson County because it avenged a 1-0 loss to the rival Eagles Sept. 28.
“After losing 1-0 to them last week, the girls were anxious to redeem themselves,” Panther coach Lisa Robinson said.
Against Banks County, Jackson County stayed hot, but a crisis cast a pall over the evening.
Banks County’s coach suffered what appeared to be a heart attack or seizure during the bottom of the sixth, according to Robinson.
“That shook my girls up pretty badly,” she said. “Their team was devastated and it was a very difficult situation.”
Robinson said the coach was alert but taken away in an ambulance.
As for the extra inning loss to Banks County back on Monday to open region tournament play, Jackson County led 2-0 until the third inning when a combination of hits, errors and a walk led to four Leopard runs.
Satterfield, however, came on in relief and shutdown Banks County.
Madison Whitmire had two doubles in the game and a solo home run that tied the score at 4-4.
Jackson County lost in the eighth when the game went to international tie-breaker rules (each team starts an inning with a runner on second).
Victoria Woods, Griggs, Macey Latty, Garland, Fontana, Haley Shinall and Satterfield all had hits.