East Jackson picked up its first subregion win three weeks Thursday when it beat Oglethorpe County 10-2, and the improvement showed according to coach Jason Rainey.
“It was our best game of the year honestly,” Rainey said.
Rainey threw both his pitchers to keep the Oglethorpe County line-up off-kilter as Taylor Nix worked the first three innings while Rebecca Turner finished off the Patriots by throwing the final four. Turner got the win.
“Oglethorpe County had some pretty good hitters,” Rainey said. “I felt like if we only let them see our pitchers once or twice, it would give us an advantage.”
Offensively, East Jackson was able to play effective small ball.
“We executed our bunts,” Rainey said. “Our short game was better than it’s been as well as our base running.”
Kelsey Palette and Brittany Nolan both went 3-for-4 to lead the team at the plate, while Brooke Etheridge belted a two-out bases loaded triple in the fifth inning “which kind of busted the game open,” Rainey said.
The coach said his young team has reassessed its goals. The focus is a little less on wins and losses and more on doing all the little things right. Once those essentials get taken care of, the wins will follow.
“Our goals got more long-term,” Rainey said. “Because to be successful, you’ve got to do all those little things.
As for the short-term, East Jackson — which lost 1-0 to subregion co-leader North Oconee Tuesday night — has three subregion contests remaining before the start of region tournament play.
The Eagles currently hold the no. 4 seed out of 8-AA South. East Jackson’s remaining games are against Jefferson, Jackson County and Hart County.