ELLABELL, GA -- Bekah Johnson continued her hot hitting streak and Bryan County overcame a somewhat lackluster performance to beat McIntosh County Academy (3-17, 1-13 Region 3A), 8-4 on Tuesday at Hendrix Park.
The Lady Skins (13-5, 9-4 Region 3A) were scheduled to play their final regular season game at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Screven County (13-4, 9-4) with the winner claiming third place in the Region 3A Public race and a No. 3 seed in the GHSA Class A Public state tournament.
Johnson was 3-for-3 and drove in three runs as she continued on a streak that has boosted her batting average to .632 for the season.
For the last 10 games she is hitting at a .719 clip.
The Lady Skins junior first baseman—she also catches and plays the outfield—opened the scoring with a solo homer with two out in the first inning.
She concluded it with a two-run double in the sixth as McIntosh had rallied to cut an early 5-0 deficit to 6-4.
It was Johnson’s eighth homer of the season and sixth in her last eight games.
She also has 16 doubles and has driven in 35 runs.
“She’s really hitting the ball well,” Coach Jason Roundtree said. “Teams are now starting to walk her even if first base is occupied.”
Johnson has 12 multi-hit games this season with one four-hit outing and six with three hits.
Bryan County had beaten McIntosh, 14-0 earlier in the season but this matchup was anything but a walkover against a last-place team that was not content to just show up and play out the string.
To their credit, the Pirates pushed the Lady Skins to the end.
McIntosh managed only six hits off Xandria Dean (2-0) but it took advantage of five Bryan County errors to keep the game close.
Getting a rare start Dean struck out five and walked only one and left six runners stranded.
Not to be overlooked by Johnson’s big night was a three-hit game by Megan Beck who was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI.
Skylar Lee chipped in with a two-run single.
The game with Screven County is a continuation of a game that was halted Tuesday by weather with the score tied 1-1 and the Gamecocks batting in the bottom of the third inning.
Roundtree was not pleased with his team’s performance against a last-place team it had beaten soundly earlier.
He talked to them for several minutes after the game while also having them run several gassers.
“Our mental focus was not there,” Roundtree said. “We’ve played ECI, Portal and Screven our last three games and that had something to do with it but that’s no excuse. I usually do not get mad, but we did some things today that we had worked on in practice in case that situation came up. It almost cost us.”
The 6-4 loss at Portal was a punch in the gut as the Panthers scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh, the final three on a bases-loaded two out double by Kelsi Williams.