At one point this season, the Jefferson softball team was clinging to a spot in the playoffs and losing more than its share of Region 8-AAAA games.
But the Dragons started a rally in the middle of September, winning six of their last seven region games. The last of those wins was a 2-0 victory at Madison County on Saturday (Oct. 9).
The win earned Jefferson a spot in the AAAA State Playoffs as the No. 3 seed, it also kept the Red Raiders from winning the region title. North Oconee won the region crown as a result of Jefferson's win Saturday.
Jefferson travels to Arabia Mountain from Region 6-AAAA this Tuesday (Oct. 12) for a double-header. Game one starts at 2 p.m. and if needed, Arabia Mountain will host a tiebreaker game on Wednesday (Oct. 13).
JEFFERSON 2, MADISON COUNTY 0
The Dragons bookended the game with runs in the first and seventh innings, while Ravyn Saxon pitched a seven-inning shutout complete with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Ellie Kinlaw scored the first run of the game after reaching on a dropped third strike. Anslee Pittman bunted Kinlaw over and a fielding error allowed her to score from first base.
Kinsie Pugh drove in the the Dragons second run of the game with an infield single in the top of the seventh. Madison Hanchey scored from second after a lead-off double.
Saxon dealt with her share of adversity during the game. Madison County had a runners in scoring position after a two-out error in the bottom of the second inning. She got out of the jam with a pop fly to Taylor Spivey at first base.
After striking out the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth inning, Saxon allowed a pair of singles. Defensive indifference allowed both runners to reach scoring position, but Saxon responded with another strikeout.
A lead-off error and a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning could have sparked a rally for the Red Raiders. However, Saxon secured the final outs with a line out to Pugh at second base and a pop fly to catcher Emma Kate Sorrells.