DAMASCUS -- Two perfect teams entered, and -- as SGA coach Tommy Manry said, "It's a shame someone had to lose."
That was the feeling across the board Tuesday night after the Lady Warriors (5-0) downed Sherwood Christian (5-1) by the final of 7-6 in eight innings in a contest both coaches later described as "wild."
It also featured two of the area's premier pitchers in Sherwood's Anna Laine Brock and SGA's Bailey Ponder. Brock struck out a staggering 13 batters to Ponder's eight, but it was Ponder who came up with the game-winning hit off Brock when it counted most.
The teams ended the seventh inning tied, 4-4, but then Sherwood scored two -- thanks to a Payton Couch double in the top of the eighth to go ahead, 6-4.
When it was SGA's turn, it backed itself into a two-out hole with one runner on. That's when Madison Jackson singled, followed by an SCA error -- which scored a run -- setting up Ponder's heroics. With two strikes against her good friend and travel club teammate Brock, Ponder ripped a double down the left field line to score the final two runs and set off a celebration in Damascus.
It also bears mentioning that before that hit, Ponder was 0-for-3 -- with three strikeouts -- against Brock.
"We sure had our chances," SCA coach Greg Richter said. "I don't think either (pitcher) was at their best (Tuesday), but it sure is fun to watch those two battle."
SGA was led by Jenna Kitchens, who has two hits and 3 RBI, while Heather Grebel had two hits, as did Morgan Hilton and Jackson. For SCA, the Lady Eagles were led by Brock's four hits, as well as Mary Margaret Charles and Couch, who both had two hits. Kaylee Dixon notched a triple.
RANDOLPH SOUTHERN 7, TERRELL ACADEMY 5:
With the defending state champ Lady Eagles moving to Class AA this season, the chances for their neighboring and former region rival Lady Patriots to get a piece of them won't be often.
So Randolph Southern took advantage Tuesday.
Led by Madison Ragan's home run -- her third in the Lady Pats' first two games -- Randolph Southern handed Terrell (2-1) its first loss of the season.
Terrell actually led, 4-3, going into the top of the seventh, but a "defensive collapse," according to TAE coach Keith Jones did his program in.
That, and Ragan, of course.
"I've watched her play for years and we walked her intentionally her first at bat," Jones said before adding, "and (in hindsight) we probably should've that next time. We just hung one up there and she hit it about 250 feet."
WESTWOOD 16, DWS 10:
The growing pains continue for the Lady Knights thanks to Miller Singleton's three hits and three runs scored as Singleton's younger sister, Morgan, also had three hits for Westwood.
DWS (0-2) got three hits of its own from Casey Kincheloe, who also scored two runs, while Emily Espy, Cheyenne Colvin and Amber Young all had two hits. Sabrina Curry doubled for DWS.