SUWANEE — It was a bad time for South Forsyth’s bats to go quiet Thursday.
Facing a win-or-go-home situation in the Region 7-AAAAA softball tournament, the Lady War Eagles managed only two hits and never crossed home plate in a 3-0 loss to Duluth on the North Gwinnett campus.
South coach Ronnie Davis said being shut out to end the season was a tough pill to swallow, after he felt he saw some improvement from the team late in the season.
South lost to Norcross 3-2 on Wednesday to set up the elimination game against Duluth.
“It’s never how you want to go out, but it’s a tough game to handle when you feel like you’re playing well late in the season and you’ve had some good ball games and some people are starting to be able to step up and play well,” Davis said.
“We didn’t get the hits when we needed to have some hits, and they did a good job of keeping us off balance at the plate.”
After some shaky fielding in the first inning allowed Duluth to take a 1-0 lead, the Lady Wildcats added two more in the fifth on a hard hit double to left field by Sam Martin.
Courtney Clark and Leanne Brooks were both 1-for-3 at the plate, the best batting performances South saw on the day.
Wildcat starting pitcher Ivy Knox was pulled after delivering consecutive walks with one out in the second inning. Maggie Kooker finished the game in relief, getting out of the second with a strikeout and a groundout.
Davis said Kooker did a good job of mixing up pitches inside and away, and keeping the hitters off balance. Duluth also had a handful of impressive plays in the field to deny potential hits.
“We were starting to get some timing on [Knox] and they made the right decision and brought somebody else in, and it worked out in their favor,” Davis said.
“Can’t muster much when you only get two hits.”
Alexa Ditmar pitched the full game for South, keeping the War Eagles in the game. Ditmar pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth to keep Duluth’s lead at three and give South a chance.
South’s best scoring opportunity came in the fourth when the Lady Eagles had runners at the corners with one out, but were unable to capitalize.