SAVANNAH – Richmond Hill softball ended their season this past week-end in the region 3-AAA tournament held at Paulson Complex. They were game one losers to Cross Creek 7- 0 and then were eliminated from post season play in game three against Harlem 11-5.
While they bounced back from their first loss with a 21-2 five inning slaughter of a much weaker Hephzibah squad, it may have been their late season, double header wins over the two weakest teams in the region that left them ill prepared for the tougher competition they would face in the region tournament.
A Richmond Hill team that had been on fire from the plate during those last four games against Hephzibah and Burke County, suddenly went silent against Cross Creek and against a better pitcher than they had been used to seeing. In fact they were unable to get a hit in the first round loss.
"I thought the momentum at the end of the season would help us" said head coach Jodi Reagan on her team’s collapse against Cross Creek. While conceding that the pitching they faced was a cut above what they faced the last four games, she also felt the 9 week exams her team took earlier in the day may have left them mentally drained.
Jena Reddick took the mound in game one and while she held off the Lady Razorbacks in the first inning, a series of errors, sacrifice bunts and timely base hits helped the Augusta team build a five run lead through three innings and that would be more than enough against the Lady Cats this time around. Game two was a study in contrast.
As though they had two tournaments worth of runs stored up in them Richmond Hill used two big innings; nine runs in the second and six runs in the fifth to decimate the Lady Rebels in the mercy rule shortened game. Stefanie Ortiz was the recipient of the run support as she got the start and picked up the win.
For the Lady Cats Melanie Goolsby went 2 for 3 with a triple and 2 RBI’s, Jena Reddick 2 for 4 with 3 RBI’s, Margaret Goolsby 2 for 2 with 2 RBI’s and Kate Delong 2 for 3 with an RBI. It was more than enough but the game lingered on while Harlem awaited.
During those long last innings Harlem was just finishing up their 1-0 loss to eventual region champion South Effingham and the Lady Cats were in need of getting their game over with some kind of enthusiasm and run support left in them.
Against a senior laden Harlem team Richmond Hill actually played pretty well but it was some clutch hitting that made the difference in the 11-5 loss.
"Jena pitched pretty well, had a few strikeouts, and we played good defense, they just have seven or eight seniors and three slap hitting left handers...their experience did us in" said Reagan of the Lady Bulldogs. She also would say afterward that her squad will soon have their chance to lean on their experience.
"To us its like next season has already started, we’re going to get in the weight room soon, start working on hitting, and get our summer league program going," remarked Reagan. The coach also felt that with so many freshmen on the team this year they were forced to move players to different positions in an effort to find the right combination. Reagan feels they will not have to do as much of that next season and hopes to bring a little more stability to the team.