The Bryan County High School softball team coasted past McIntosh County Academy 8-0 on Tuesday, setting up a showdown with Vidalia on Thursday for first place in Region 2-AA.
Pitcher Shelby Barfield earned the win in the circle and drove in two runs at the plate as the Lady Redskins improved to 10-3 overall and 4-0 in the region. Bryan County managed only five hits, but took advantage of six walks and four errors by the overmatched Lady Buccaneers (0-5, 0-4).
Brooke Barfield had two hits and two runs batted in, Layton Harrell added two RBIs and Kaylin Leggett scored twice and drove in a run. Head coach Al Butler emptied his bench in the fifth, letting reserves play the final inning before the game was called by run rule.
“Anytime you can win a region game is a big day,” Butler said. “I was glad everybody got the opportunity to play today.”
Vidalia (10-0, 3-0) remained unbeaten with a 7-2 win over Long County on Tuesday. Vidalia hosts Bryan County at 6 p.m. Thursday in the first of their two regular-season meetings.
The Lady Redskins swept Vidalia in the regular season last year. The Lady Indians responded by knocking BCHS out of the Region 2-AA tournament.
“Thursday has been the biggest game of the season since they put us out last year,” Butler said. “I like our chances against them.”
After a scoreless first inning against MCA, Bryan County scored four runs in the second – on just one hit. Talyor Roop led off with a double to center field, and Alayna Williams and MacKenzie Miller reached on errors to load the bases.
Leggett, Shelby Barfield and Harrell each drew a bases-loaded walk to force home a run. Miller scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brooke Barfield.
The Lady Redskins tacked on four more runs in the fourth. Alyssa Edwards got it started with a leadoff single and scored on Shelby Barfield’s sacrifice fly to put BCHS up 5-0.
Brooke Barfield lined a single to center to drive in Leggett, who had walked. Harrell singled to center to score Barfield, and then came home on an error.
Shelby Barfield and Miller combined on a two-hit shutout with no walks. Barfield pitched the first four innings, allowing two hits and striking out six batters, and Miller pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning with a strikeout.
“I’m very pleased with where we are as a team right now,” Butler said. “Everybody seems to be mentally and physically ready to go – and that’s what you want at this point in the season.”