It was nice while it lasted. Thanks to a 6-0 start which saw it outscore several outmanned opponents, 80-16, the Bryan County Redskins claimed a No. 3 ranking in the first Class A-D1 softball rankings of the season.
That ranking is now certain to be gone after a 10-7 loss at Metter on Tuesday night. It was the Redskins’ third straight, coming on the heels of losses last Saturday against Thomson (10-8) and Glascock County (2-0) in games played at Glascock County. Glascock is ranked No. 3 in Class A-DII.
After coasting to a 14-2 win at Jenkins last Thursday Coach Jason Roundtree said the road ahead was going to get tougher for his team and he was proven right.
“I told the girls this was our final pre-season tuneup,” Roundtree said. “I told them this weekend would be a step up in competition and those games should prepare us for region play.
“I told them if we won those two games (Thomson and Glascock County) and lost to Metter it would be terrible.”
Well, terrible it is as the Redskins (6-3, 0-1) opened defense of their Region 3A-D1 title with a 10-7 loss to Tigers. With only six region games the defeat puts them somewhat behind the eight ball as they now face the prospect of having to win out in order to repeat.
To Bryan County’s credit it did not go quietly at Metter. After falling behind, 6-2, after three innings the Redskins rallied to tie it, 6-6, with four runs in the fourth but could not sustain the momentum.
Metter answered with two runs in the fifth and added two in the sixth after Bryan County had scored in the top of the sixth.
Sophomore centerfielder Cam Parker had another big night at the plate as she was 1-for-2 with four RBI including a three-run double in the big fourth.
Parker, who was 0-12 in seven games last year, was hitting .600 with 17 RBI going into a Wednesday night game at Jenkins County. Senior Skylar Lee, however, leads the team in hitting at .643 and she had 21 RBI in the nine games played.
Following the game at Jenkins County the Redskins will play at Islands (1-1) on Thursday and at Claxton (3-1) next Tuesday in a region game.
Lee and Parker have both hit safely in every game this season and they have helped relieve one of Roundtree’s concerns, namely hitting.
“The best thing I’ve seen so far is the way we’re hitting the ball,” Roundtree said. “I thought we would have a big drop off in our hitting but we have really hit the ball well.”
Junior Lauren Sanderson is at .455 despite going hitless her last two games and freshman Emily Johnson is at .409. Sophomore shortstop Liz Harvey is at .375 after a 3-3 game at Metter and has scored a team high 14 runs.