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Six-run fourth proves fateful
Milton tops South in season opener
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Alexa Ditmar of South Forsyth slings a pitch toward home plate Friday during a game against Milton. - photo by Emily Saunders
One rough inning told the tale in South Forsyth's softball season opener Friday, as the Lady War Eagles fell to Milton 6-3 at home.

The Lady Hawks lost eight base runners in the first three innings, but finally got to starter Alexa Ditmar in the fourth, scoring six runs. A two-run homer from Milton's starting pitcher, Taylor Disch, made the count 6-0 and brought sophomore Tania Soto to the mound for South (0-1).

"She didn't walk anybody and came in there and threw strikes and defense came up with plays behind her, and that's the name of the game. ... She was a little nervous, it was her first varsity outing ever, but everybody's like that at some point in time," South coach Ronnie Davis said of Soto, who was the starting pitcher for the Eagle junior varsity earlier in the night.

South scored a run each in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames to claw back into the contest.

Amelia Schmid (two hits) doubled in the fifth before advancing on a fielder's choice and scoring on a wild pitch to get South on the board.

Jenna Quinn drove in a run on a double with two outs in the sixth, but her momentum carried her past the bag, allowing Milton to catch her off-base and end the inning on the same play.

Down 6-2, the Eagles looked to get something going in the final inning, as Andrea Cocco led off the frame with a single. Jessica Mash, running for Cocco, then stole second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a fielder's choice.

Schmid got her second hit of the game on an RBI single to drive in Mash and make it 6-3 with one out. Kathleen Rooney later managed a two-out single on a tricky infield hit, bringing the tying run to bat. The potential rally died when Courtney Clark grounded out to end the game.

Lakan Smith also had two hits for South on the night.

"One thing that our girls never do is they never give up. ... As a whole program, we never give up until the last out's given and you've got to give them a little credit. They kept their heads up, stayed in the ballgame, and we don't ever think that we're out of games," Davis said.

"[Milton] did a good job of putting pressure on us and getting a lead when they did, and they had one big inning. We fought back and scrapped back and that's just something that shows a little bit about the senior leadership and not letting us get down as a team."

South recorded only two base runners through four innings before seeming to settle in a bit more at the plate.

"First time through an order, it's just trying to get a feel for the speed and for the movement and that sort of thing. ... Early in the game, we were not very fundamental swinging the [bat]," Davis said.

Despite giving up six runs, South still managed to shut out Milton in every inning but one, something Davis attributed to a high-pressure approach to defensive drills that paid off during the game with some solid pick-offs.

"We really gave them opportunities early with a couple of boots and a misthrow and this and that, and ... we made some pitches and made some plays early on when we had to. We had two plays at the plate that we threw runners out. We threw two runners out at third base that were huge," he said.

Following a trip to Roswell Saturday, South was scheduled to play host to Alpharetta on Monday night.