The Bryan County High softball team continues to steal the show when it comes to North Bryan County sports. Even with football season in full swing, it is the Lady Redskins of Bryan County High that are making the sports noise. After an easy 11-1 win over region foe, Claxton on Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Lady ‘Skins continue to ride the solid pitching of junior, Tiffany Howard, as they pick up momentum heading into the Region tournament. Their toughest and most crucial test came in a home game on Thursday, Sept. 16 when the No. 4 State ranked Savannah Christian ‘Lady Raiders came to Pembroke carrying a (12-5, 6-0) record. Bryan County was sporting a (13-5, 6-1 ) record and holding a No. 6 State ranking in Class A. Just a few days earlier the Redskins had suffered a 6-5 region loss in Savannah to the Lady Raiders and were chomping at the bit to prove they were a worthy opponent and that they did, as Bryan County came from behind in nail-biter fashion for a 4-3 region win.
With two of the regions’ top pitchers on the mound in Taylor Turner and Tiffany Howard, Savannah Christian got the game started with a walk by Veronica Woodbury and a bunt single by Jordie Smith, who finished the day with a ( 3-4, RBI ) performance, to lead the Savannah Christian swingers. After that, Howard shut down the Raider batters, but a couple of Bryan County throwing errors allowed the Raiders to jump out to a 2-0 lead,
Howard, who finished the complete game performance with a 3-hit outing on the mound, led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and later scored on a bases loaded wild pitch to close the inning with SCPS leading 2-1. After holding SCPS hitless in the second inning, the Lady ‘Skins picked up the tying run with two outs when Sierra Newman singled and Howard followed with a double and RBI to tie it up 2-2. Sierra Cornell followed with a single but no other Bryan County offensive damage could be done.
After the second inning, the pitchers got into a duel that saw Bryan County pick up four hits but no runs were produced, Howard held SCPS to just 1 hit in the remaining innings of regulation play.
With the scored tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation play, the GHSA tie-breaker procedure came into play so each team started the remaining innings with a runner on second base to speed up the game.
SCPS scored in the top of the eighth and Bryan County scored in the bottom of the eighth on a fielders’ choice by Taylor Stanfield that scored Bacon.
The ninth inning found both teams with goose eggs in the run column and Howard took care of the 10th inning with a 3-up, 3-down inning that gave the Bryan County faithful a glimmer of hope.
The winning magic came to fruition in the bottom of the 10th with Bridget Bacon starting the inning on second base.
Jerri Hines came to the plate and laid down a speedy bunt that outrolled the outstretched arms of SCPS pitcher, Taylor Turner and dribbled its way to second base where no one was standing, as the SCPS second baseman had made her move to cover first base on the bunt. This allowed Bacon to leg it all the way home for the winning score. Howard finished her winning day on the mound with 9 strikeouts, 2 walks, 3 hits and 3 runs. Turner gave up 10 hits, 4 walks, and 4 runs in the loss. Howard also led the Bryan County offensive attack with a (3-4 , 2 singles, double, RBI, Run) performance. Bacon went (2-4, 2 singles, 2 runs), and Hines finished with a (2-4, 2 singles, RBI ) performance along.
“We have stressed the hype that this game brings going back to last year, “ said Bryan coach Al Butler. “ We have tried to prepare this team mentally for this game.. This game has become so personal because the girls know each other so well on the field. We started this game out tight and it showed with the two throwing errors that allowed SCPS to score in the first inning. We just seem to press too much when we play them, but finally we settle down and played much better and was able to come away with the win.”
The Lady ‘Skins didn’t have much celebrating time for this game as they mounted the buses on Friday morning to head to Chattanooga, Tenn., for a weekend of strong competitive tournament play against four teams that are ranked in their respective regions.
Butler had this to say about the upcoming tourney. “Against the competition we will be facing I will be happy if we can come away with three wins, cause that will show that we can compete and gain some confidence.”
The weekend couldn’t have gone any better for the Bryan County squad as they swept all five of their games behind the pitching of Tiffany Howard. They picked up wins on Friday, with a 2-1 win over Ridgeland (11-7, 6-2) that saw Howard lead off the inning with a over-the-fence homerun, and a 3-1 win over LaFayette (15-8, 7-1).
Saturday morning saw the Redskins’ continue their winning momentum with a 4-1 win over Ringgold (8-11, 4-4), a 8-7 win over Strong Rock Christian (12-9, 2-1) and a climax game win over Union, Oklahoma with a 8-2 victory. The Lady ‘Skins (19-5, 7-1) will play again on Sept. 23 at Effingham County and have a home game against Brantley County on Sept. 28 in Pembroke.
“I am really amazed at the way our team has played this weekend. The last game was our hardest and the girls made each play to perfection and continued to fight throughout the contest. If we make it to the State playoffs in Columbus, I feel really good about our chances with the way our girls played this weekend,”said Butler.
Coach Cindy Bennett took her Cross-Country team to Tattnall County for their first match of the season and saw the BCHS girls finish in 3rd place and the BCHS boys finished 4th.
Trent Minis finished with a third-place showing, Andre Anderson at 17th, and Devin Sharpe at 21st place. Leading the girls was Courtney Markels who had a 6th place finish, and Rachel Anderson followed closely in 7th. Hailey Stevens ended the day with a 9th place finish. On Sept. the Bryan runners went to Savannah Country Day among a 13 team field and the boys legged out an eighth-place finish. The Lady Cross country team finished 7th on the day.
The Bryan County High football team had a bye week and will pick up play on Friday when they continue their away game travel into Glascock County in Gibson, Georgia.
The Glascock Panthers (7-A) are (1-3, 0-0). Bryan County will be back at home on Friday, Oct. 1 when they tangle with Savannah County Day in Pembroke with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Traywick covers Bryan County High School sports.