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September 27, 2000
Gun control or
By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
September 27, 2000
A big week for local teams
The home stretch of any sports season can be exciting, but local slow-pitch softball teams provided their fans with some thrillers this week as the 2000 season nears its end.
Jefferson went into Tuesday's doubleheader with Commerce undefeated at 20-0. All season, the Lady Tigers had been expected to be Jefferson's toughest opponent, and they didn't disappoint.
Though Commerce easily defeated the Lady Dragons in game one, the closing game of the double bill went to extra innings after the two rivals swapped one-run innings more than once in regulation.
If they weren't there already, Tuesday's performance firmly established the Lady Tigers as a state tournament contender. Don't be surprised if we see these two matched up later in Columbus, with even more on the line.
As the two cross-county rivals were shooting it out in Commerce, Jackson County was coming through with some late-season shenanigans of their own.
The Lady Panthers, who have been up-and-down all season and have struggled to win against quality teams, did just that Tuesday evening as they pulled off an upset of Elbert County to claim the top spot in area 8-AAA.
Though the two teams have played some close games, Elbert has owned Jackson County in the won/lost column this year. Tuesday's win marked the first time this season that the Lady Panthers have beaten Elbert County.
Aside from the obvious reasons, the win couldn't have come at a better time for Jackson County. The aforementioned ups and downs of the season seemed to have been wearing on players and coaches recently. The team was in desperate need of an energy jolt before the postseason, and they got it.
The only remaining question is whether they'll hold it. Last year's Lady Panthers went into the area tournament in virtually the same situation hosting the tournament while holding the top seed. A season that had looked destined for sectional play ended when Jackson County couldn't emerge from the area tournament.
A boost like Tuesday's can do big things for a team, but not always. Jackson County should be able to qualify for the sectional, but they should have last year also.
Coaches Rainwater, Banks and Crumley will be busy this week trying to find a way to keep the boost alive while going seven days without playing.
The young Lady Panthers will benefit well from some tough area play, and will learn even more if they can make the sectional in Covington. Let's all wish them luck.
Who knows, maybe with all the exciting action going on this week, the Panther football team can get a boost of their own by upsetting Hart County Friday night.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald. His email address is SpeckCh@aol.com.
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