THIS MUCH is clear: Jackson County and Jefferson don’t lack for drama.
The Panthers won the first meeting on the softball diamond, Aug. 16, by throwing out a potential tying run at home. Fast forward to Thursday. Jefferson put the tying run on second base and the winning run on first with one out in the final inning, but Jackson County pitcher Kortnee Satterfield successfully worked out of that jam to give the Panthers a 2-1 win and the season sweep over their rivals. Click here for game photos.
“It was exciting,” first-year Jackson County coach Chessie Laird said. “We’ve played an exciting last few games. We didn’t expect anything different.”
Jackson County and Jefferson came into the game tied atop Region 8-AA South with only one loss in subregion play. Rising to the occasion, the Panthers played sound defense and got a two-hitter from pitcher Satterfield, who surrendered no walks and struck out two in earning the win.
“Kortnee Satterfield did an amazing job,” Laird said. “She came out of the gate strong … She goes out and pitches the ball over the plate, and she lets her defense work. That was one thing. Our defense did a good job of really busting it today (Thursday).”
Alyssa Dasher (1-for-3, double, run), Madison Whitmire (1-of-2, run) and Mason Garland (1-for-3, RBI) sparked Jackson County at the plate. Dasher got the Panthers on the scoreboard in the top of the first when she doubled and later came home on a ground ball from Garland. Jackson County upped its lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Whitmire scored on an error.
Jefferson coach Melissa Mullis, whose team committed five errors, said defensive play was the difference in the ball game.
“We cannot win a ball game giving up four hits and making five errors,” she said. “They outplayed us today (Thursday). That’s all we can say. I don’t know how else to frame it up. We got two hits, and they made no errors. They outplayed us, and that’s why they’re a great ball club.”
Mullis added that her Dragons “are not there yet.”
“Not to speak critically of my team, because they’re doing a good job, but we’ve got to improve if our goal is to win region,” Mullis said.
Jordyn Whitfield (1-for-3, RBI) led Jefferson offensively, blasting a solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth inning to left centerfield to break up Satterfield’s no-hit bid.
Satterfield’s mound opponent, Savannah Snapp, pitched a complete game for the Dragons, surrendering four hits, two runs (one earned) and one walk while striking out two.
Jackson County was coming off its first subregion loss of the season — a 7-4 setback to North Oconee — two days earlier. Laird said that left her team extra motivated.
“It was a good thing to happen to us — just to happen so early in the season,” Laird said. “It left a bad taste in our mouth. So it really made this game that much more important to us to win.”
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