The Lady Hounds are still on a roll to start the season, improving to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in region play with a pair of Region 4-5A road victories last week.
The Jones County girls scored eight runs in the seventh inning to break open a close game and defeat Union Grove 10-2 on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the Lady Hounds scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to complete an 18-0 rout of Eagle’s Landing.
“So far, so good,” coach Blake Lyons said when asked about the quick start. “We’ve started the way we had hoped. That’s always the goal, to get a winning mind set early and see how far you can take it.”
Jones County has combined good work from three pitchers and a potent offense to produce the early success.
“It’s a nice situation we have with our pitchers,” Lyons said of senior Mayson Watford, junior Savannah Williams and freshman Destin Howard. “We do not have to show region opponents the same pitcher every time. Our three girls are all pitching well, and they each have their own style, so we have different options to show teams different looks.”
The batting order has also proved potent.
“We’ve been getting a lot of hits and good power,” the coach said. “All 10 or 11 we’ve had in the lineup have hit, so we aren’t having to rely on just two or three girls to drive in runs. If someone has an off day, there is someone to pick them up, and that keeps the offense going.”
The main thing that needs improvement for now is the defense, Lyons said.
“We’ve got to play harder defensively. We’re still not where we should be there.”
Despite their fast start, the Lady Hounds actually dropped in the AJC/Score Atlanta rankings for Class 5A last week, sliding from No. 7 in the preseason poll to No. 9. Harris County, Starr’s Mill, Whitewater and South Effingham, the last three which had been unranked, all moved ahead of Jones County.
In last Tuesday’s game, Jones County scored two runs in the top of the third inning on a two-out double by Brenay Howard after Watford and Madison Bennett had singled.
Union Grove scored a run in the bottom of the inning on two singles and a stolen base.
The Lady Hounds erupted for eight runs in the top of the seventh, all scoring with two outs. Kloey Goins tripled home Makinsey Long, who singled, and Watford, who walked, to begin the onslaught. The Lady Hounds then followed with seven consecutive singles to put the game away. Destin Howard drove in two runs, and Lauren Grace Carr and Watford one each.
Williams got the win, holding Union Grove to one run on four hits over 4 1/3 innings. She struck out three. Destin Howard finished, giving up one run on two hits and two walks and struck out five in 2 2/3 innings.
Watford went the distance in the game shortened to four innings by the mercy rule at Eagle’s Landing. She allowed only two hits and one walk and struck out four.
Williams hit a three-run homer in the fourth and went 2-for-2 in the inning. Watford was 3-for-3, Bennett was 2-for-4 and Goins was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Watford, Bennett, Goins and Brenay Howard all had a double in the game.
The Lady Hounds play Veterans at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville at 6 p.m. today. They play at Stockbridge on Thursday and at Houston County next Tuesday. Their next home game will be Sept. 6 against Woodland.
JV girls also winning
Jones County’s junior varsity team is also off to a good start.
The Lady Hounds improved to 5-0 with four victories last week. They downed Union Grove 12-5 on the road on Tuesday, swept a doubleheader against Locust Grove 6-1 and 12-11 at home on Wednesday and won 14-1 at Spalding on Friday.
Jones County opened the season with a 10-0 win over Houston County on Aug. 15.