KORTNEE Satterfield froze the opposing bats, while Madison Whitmire lit up numerous teams’ pitching.
And the result was a 4-2 run for Jackson County through the Hawk-Bulldog Invitational with a championship in the bronze championship to boot. Jackson County tacked on a 15-2 romp over Hart County Tuesday on the road and now stands at 6-2 under first-year coach Chessie Laird.
“I’ve said this over and over, but the determination of this group, the work ethic that they have, they really took that to heart and just put it on the line and did what they had to do,” Laird said of the tournament.
Satterfield picked up three wins from the pitcher’s circle in the Hawk-Bulldog tournament, including one for the scrapbook against Grayson. The sophomore fired a no-hitter Saturday against the Class AAAAA team from Gwinnett County — the very same day she turned 15.
“I was kind of nervous at first,” Satterfield admitted.
Nerves aside, Satterfield was able to keep the Grayson line-up off guard with her off-speed stuff as Jackson County routed the Rams — who are coming off a 22-win season — 10-0 after losing to Grayson earlier in the tournament 8-3.
“It was cool,” Satterfield said. “I guess it felt good to come back and beat them.”
Satterfield also tossed a one-hitter in a 10-0 victory over Lanier and picked up the win in Jackson County’s 11-10 victory over Mountain View. Haley Shinall recorded the Panthers’ other victory in a 10-win over Northside, Columbus.
“She’s really been rocking-and-rolling pitching-wise,” Laird said of Satterfield. “Her and Haley both did an awesome job coming through and going back-to-back. It kind of gets tiring playing three games in one day but they really dug deep and did what we ask.”
Meanwhile, Whitmire produced video-game like stats during the Panthers six-game stay in the event, hitting a gaudy .476, blasting five home runs and collecting 14 RBIs. Whitmire socked two more homers and went 4-for-5 in Tuesday’s victory over Hart County to give her seven home runs for the year. Laird expected Whitmire to have a big season but the catcher is absolutely on fire early.
“To have it happen all at one time was great,” Laird said. “She definitely has the potential to be one of the best players in the state and I think she kind of proved that.”
Surprisingly, Whitmire didn’t even have the best batting average from the tournament. That distinction went to Ashleigh Lance who hit .545 with five runs and five RBIs. Other offensive leaders were Alyssa Dasher (.450 average, six runs and five RBIs), Mason Garland (.318 average, five runs, four RBIs), Macey Latty (.391 average, five runs, RBI), Victoria Fontana (five hits), Satterfield (five hits), Kesley Turner (four hits), Jessica Baker (four hits), Andrea Ledford (four hits) and Victoria Woods (four hits).
Laird noted that Turner, a slapper, “really had the teams guessing on what she was going to do.”
Jackson County was able to finish strong in the tournament despite dropping its first two games — one to Peachtree Ridge (4-3) and the other to Grayson (8-3).
Laird pointed to the early loss to Grayson as the turning point of the tournament.
“The only thing was that we kept going even though we were down and never gave up,” Laird said. “So they decided at the end of the game that, ‘hey, next time, do or die right here.’ They pretty much made a choice for themselves and a promise to each other to do everything in their power to not let that happen again.”
And they didn’t. Counting Tuesday’s win, Jackson County is riding a five-game winning streak and stands at 2-0 in 8-AA South play.
“The attitude and the heart and determination that this group has, I don’t think it can be any better than where they are right now,” Laird said. “They keep pushing each other everyday to get better.”