DADE COUNTY’S Madison Lacy swatted a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning and Jefferson couldn’t answer as the Dragons lost 3-1 Thursday in the deciding game of a three-game series in the Class AA Sweet 16.
“I told them to focus on the positive,” Jefferson coach Melissa Mullis said of her post-game speech to her team. “Because we have come a long way. We’ve been working since June 1. I believe we still deserved to be in the final eight. The outcome did not reflect the type of team that we have. I believe that we’re better than them. I believe we wanted it more than they did. It just didn’t happen for us.”
Morgan McKinney put forth another strong mound performance in the final game of her prep career. The senior threw seven innings, allowing five hits and two walks and the three runs in her third start of the Sweet 16 series.
Jefferson scored in the bottom of the first when Cason Anderson ripped an RBI single to centerfield to score Lindsey Miles.
McKinney protected that 1-0 lead until the sixth when Hailey Glass hit a lead off triple, followed by Summer Stevens, who walked. Lacy then delivered her three-run blast.
Jefferson missed scoring opportunities in the fourth inning when it put runners in scoring position and in the sixth inning when the Dragons loaded the bases with two outs but came up empty.
Jefferson finished with five hits, three of which came in the first inning.
Anderson went 2-for-2 with an RBI and walk in her final high school game. Lindsay Miles, McKinney and Savannah Snapp had Jefferson’s other hits.
The Jefferson softball program enjoyed a resurgence this year, winning 20 games, earning its first region title since 2008, returning to state for the first time in four years and advancing to the second round. The Dragons lose three seniors off this year’s team but will return most of its roster for next year.
“I love these girls,” Mullis said. “I enjoy spending time with them, and I’m looking forward to next season, that’s for sure.”
For complete state tournament coverage, see the Oct. 24 issue of The Jackson Herald.