Down seven runs with just three outs to play with on Thursday night, South Forsyth’s softball team didn’t its heads in acceptance. The War Eagles made their final outs count, notching four hits and plating two runners in the seventh inning against Mill Creek.
However, their deficit was just too big to conquer, as the Hawks made South’s sixth inning mistakes and walks hurt and handed the War Eagles a 9-4 defeat in the deciding third game of their second round state playoff series. The War Eagles ended their season at 13-16 overall.
“In the end, they were the better team,” South head coach Ronnie Davis said. “We didn’t make some plays when we had to. When you get good teams like that and they get dialed in, you know what (Lauren) Baccari’s got. (They had) faced her three times.”
Heading into the top of the seventh, South was down just 3-2 and still had a good chance at of stealing the win. However, an errant throw to first that led to a three-base error that extended the Hawks’ lead to 4-2. South’s situation only got worse from there. Mill Creek scored on a bases-loaded walk, another error and a hit batter before Maddison Koepke singled in two more to cap off the six-run inning.
“They just did a good job of laying off pitches in those situations to put a little added pressure on us,” Davis said. “We just didn’t make plays.”
The War Eagles led off the bottom half with three straight hits, with Baccari bringing in Makenna Segal on a double. Kylie League’s second single of the night brought Kayla Mayoros in, but Mill Creek was eventually able to get the necessary outs.
“I think that shows a lot about their character,” Davis said. “They don’t ever give in and you never know. We’ve been in that situation and been up before and (did) not have success. They knew it wasn’t over until they made the last out.”
South’s best scoring chance of the game came in the third inning, when two Mill Creek errors and a Baccari single loaded the bases with no outs. The War Eagles were able to get two runs in on a single from League and a sacrifice fly from Chloe Traynor to take a 2-0 lead. That ended up being as a big missed opportunity, though, with South’s bats quieting down over the next three frames.
“If a couple of balls go in different places, it could have been a whole different ballgame,” Davis said. “They did a good job of keeping themselves in the game at that point in time.”
Mill Creek got one back in the top of the fourth on an RBI single to cut South’s only lead of the game to 2-1, before taking the lead they never gave up with two more in the fifth.
Baccari finished 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. League went 3-for 4 with one run driven in.