LEESBURG — The celebration was worth the price of admission.
Cavs’ slide continues with loss to Middle GA
ALBANY — Two weeks ago, it looked like nothing would stop the Darton baseball team.
Now the Cavs can’t seem to stop their downward spiral.
Darton’s slump continued Tuesday with a 14-2, seven-inning loss to Middle Georgia.
The Cavs, who had won 25 of 28 games at one point midway through the season, have now lost five of their last six and are three games behind Middle Georgia in the race for the top seed in the Region XVII Tournament.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Darton has three more games against Middle Georgia this weekend, giving the Cavs a chance to claw back into first place.
Cavs ace Matt Aldrich lost his second game in a row and lasted just two innings Tuesday afternoon.
The former Lee County star pitched two innings and allowed three hits, four runs and four walks.
It really got out of hand for the Cavs in the fifth inning when relievers Steven Williams and Andrew Crumbley combined to allow seven runs, giving Middle Georgia a 12-1 lead.
Darton (34-14, 19-6) was led at the plate by Russell Melton (2-for-3, 2 R) and Kevin Manos (1-for-2, RBI).
But why not dance a little and jump to the heavens? Why not scream and shout and soak this one in — this Region 1-AAAA girls soccer title.
“They got pretty excited and celebrated,’’ said Lee County girls soccer coach David Baltenberger, whose Lady Trojans beat Houston County, 1-0, on Tuesday to win their first region title in three years.
“No one on this team had ever won a region title,’’ he said. “So they were pretty excited.’’
Casey Schoenberger, who was The Herald’s Swimmer of the Year, scored the only goal of the game and goalkeeper Danielle Brendel slammed the door with seven saves on a day when Lee controlled most of the field.
“We played really good defense,’’ Baltenberger said. “We kept it on their end. This team has really come together, and they play well as a team. That showed (Tuesday). You win 1-0, that’s tough. You’ve got to hang in there.’’
Lee County (12-4-1) will be at home for the first round the state playoffs next week, and if the Lady Trojans win they will have the home field in the second round as well.
HOUSTON COUNTY 6, BAINBRIDGE 0: Bainbridge lost to Houston’s powerhouse team in the boys Region 1-AAAA soccer championship game, but the Bearcats — by virtue of finishing in second place — will host the opening round of the state playoffs Tuesday against an opponent yet to be determined.
It is the first time in Bainbridge’s history that the boys soccer team will be the host in the state tournament.
DWS SOCCER ADVANCES: Not even close.
That was the story Tuesday on Deerfield-Windsor’s soccer fields, where the DWS girls and boys combined to outscore Trinity Christian, 20-0, in the opening round of the GISA Class AAA state playoffs.
Junior Casey Kincheloe scored five goals — extending her school-record season total to 44 — to lead the Lady Knights to a 12-0 victory, and the DWS boys cruised to an 8-0 win.
“The girls started off a little slow, but as soon as they found their rhythm, they were into it,” DWS boys and girls coach Aly Joslin said. “And the boys were just outstanding. It was probably their best performance of the year.”
Both teams advance to the state quarterfinals, which will be played next week.
Jonathan Jones and Trey Puckett led the Deerfield boys (13-3) with three goals each, while Harry Vildibill and Alex Berry each added one goal.
Haley Kincheloe and Bailey Weed each scored two goals for the DWS girls (16-1-1), and Cheyenne Colvin, Mackenzie Davis and Kirstyn Griffin each scored one.
TATTNALL SWEEPS SHERWOOD: Sherwood’s boys and girls soccer teams both fell to Tattnall Square in the opening round of the GISA Class AAA state tournament on Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles lost, 2-1, and finish the season with a 17-6 record. Christina Charles scored the goal for SCA.
The Eagles (13-4-1) lost a heartbreaker in penalty kicks after the two teams fought to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtimes. T.J. Clay, who is one of the top scorers in the state, scored his 33rd goal of the season for SCA.
DEERFIELD BASEBALL 9, SHERWOOD CHRISTIAN 0: Austin Murphy and Coleman Butler combined for the shutout as Murphy gave up just three hits over four innings with three strikeouts, and Butler threw three hitless innings with three Ks.
Harris Webb went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in three runs. He also scored twice. Weston King went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, and Lindsey Short went 2-for-2 with two walks, two doubles and two runs. Kh’ron McClain went 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice.
WESTOVER TENNIS ELIMINATED: A shot here, a point there.
That’s all that stood between the Westover girls tennis team and a second straight trip to the round of 16 in the Class AAA state tournament.
The No. 3 seed Lady Patriots, however, dropped a pair of close matches in Tuesday’s state tournament opener to No. 2 seed Mary Persons and lost, 4-1.
Senior Meera Kuntawala was Westover’s lone winner with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles.
Both doubles teams lost close, hard-fought matches — Rebekah Brown and Mills Pickett lost at No. 1 doubles (7-6, 7-5) and Morgan Barton and Lauren Bowers lost at No. 2 doubles (0-6, 6-1, 6-3).
“We relied on wins from the singles players in the regular season, but (Tuesday) our doubles teams stepped up and had us in it,” Westover coach John Scanling said. “Winning was still a possibility late, and it wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for our doubles teams.”
Savannah Boysen lost at No. 1 singles (6-1, 6-0) and Rachel Clenney fell at No. 2 singles (7-5, 6-3).
The Lady Patriots, who ended their season at 9-5, will lose seniors Kuntawala, Pickett and Brown from the program — and Scanling said they were a part of a special team this season.
“The girls team was consistent from top to bottom,” he said. “We realized any wins were going to be via a team effort, which meant we didn’t really know where our wins would come from.”
The Westover boys play in their first-round match today at 4 p.m. against Howard.