Sure, Jefferson dropped a Wednesday night game to Dacula. But coach Kacie Bostwick was just happy to get it on the schedule.
The Dragons (1-1) lost 6-4 at home to the Class AAAAAA No. 6-ranked Falcons (1-0) Aug. 12 in what was a late addition to Jefferson’s non-region slate. A pairing with a 27-win team from last year that advanced to Columbus was just what Bostwick said her team needed before the onset of an 18-game region schedule.
“I’m glad we added this game because we need to play teams like that,” Bostwick said. “Just like we said, that’s the kind of team we’re going to play in the playoffs and in Columbus.”
Jefferson trailed 6-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh but mounted a late rally with a two-run double off the center field wall from Mackenzie Turner. Jefferson then brought the tying run to the plate.
But the Dragons came no closer as Falcons’ pitcher Sydney Boulware forced a groundout and recorded a strikeout — her ninth of the night — to end the game.
“She’s a really good pitcher, so we have to figure out how to adjust to some of the pitches that she was throwing, and in-game that has to happen,” Bostwick said. “It happened, later in the game, but we’ve got to make those adjustments earlier.”
Turner went 2-for-4 to lead Jefferson at the plate, and Ravyn Saxon and Camoreen Hart again split the pitching duties. Saxon worked four innings, allowing two runs (both earned), two hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Hart came on and threw the last three innings, surrendering four runs (all earned), four hits and not walks with four strikeouts.
“This was a really good test for our pitchers,” Bostwick said. “I know there were a lot of runs scored, but I thought, overall, our pitchers battled really well. They’re a solid 1-9 through the lineup.”
Bostwick also said she was pleased with her team’s competitiveness, especially late in the game.
“I saw some fight there at the end, so that was good to see,” she said.
The Dragons cut Dacula’s lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out RBI single from Taylor Spivey.
But they left themselves with some work to do in the seventh.
Dacula plated three runs in the top half of the inning. The Falcons’ first run scored via an error, followed by a towering two-run home run from Emily Digby that struck the metal roofing of a structure past the left centerfield wall.
Jefferson led early, 1-0, when Ellie Kinlaw singled, stole second and later scored on a hit from Maleia Truelove.
The lead lasted until the top of the fourth inning when Maia Mumpfield singled home two runs, putting the Falcons ahead 2-1. The Falcons added a run off an error in the top of the sixth inning.
Jefferson moves on to play Cedar Shoals tomorrow (Aug. 13) in Athens to open Region 8-AAAA play, followed by an Aug. 18 contest at East Hall, a 26-win team last year.
“There’s going to be a couple good teams in our region,” Bostwick said. “I know Madison County is one that we’re going to battle with. I know East Hall is one, Flowery Branch, North Oconee … so we’ve got some tough teams.”
Region games are especially important this season with no region tournament scheduled. The top four seeds out of 8-AAAA will be determined by the 18-game regular-season standings. All teams will play each other three times.
Bostwick said she feels her team is built for the rigors of that schedule.
“I feel like we have an advantage because we have such a strong pitching staff … I really feel like that’s going to help us playing everybody three times,” Bostwick said.