East Jackson won just once in a weekend softball tournament at Stephens County, but what it lacked in victories, it made up for by getting younger players experience.
“Absolutely. If you look at our team, we’re still young,” said coach Jason Rainey, who has just one senior on his team. “We’re still as young as you can be if you look at our roster. That’s a big deal. We’re going to keep working. We need the experience.”
The Eagles (2-3, 1-1 as of Monday) went 1-3 in the tournament, beating Prince Avenue 8-1 but losing to Elbert County (4-3), Stephens County (5-0) and Banks County (1-0).
“We tried to get a lot of people in the tournament and find out what people can do,” Rainey said.
One player who East Jackson already knows plenty about is junior Taylor Nix, who tallied some big numbers in the tournament. Nix threw 16 innings Saturday, surrendering no earned runs and just one run overall. Against Prince Avenue, Nix picked up the win on the mound and went 3-for-3 with four RBIs.
Rainey said Nix was simply on during the tournament from the pitcher’s circle.
“She was hitting her spots,” Rainey said. “She was throwing strikes and getting ahead of batters.”
Nix is entering her third year as a starter for East Jackson and Rainey noted that experience.
“Taylor has been through a lot,” Rainey said. “She’s started for two years. That will make you grow up quick.”
Another player enjoying a big tournament was Emily Turner. Rainey said the sophomore catcher hit around. 400 over the course of four games.