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Lady Hounds off to fast start on season

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Lady Hounds off to fast start on season

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u Jones County girls win first six games

Brenay Howard follows through on her home run against Houston County, one of six the Lady Hounds hit last week.

SOFTBALL

Jones County coach Blake Lyons says he told his players they would have a better idea about what kind of softball team they have and their roles after opening the season with eight games in eight days.

Well, a week and six games into that stretch, the outlook is bright indeed.

The Lady Hounds went 6-0 in their opening week, including lopsided wins in two Region 4-5A games.

They outscored their opponents 60-7 in the six games. That included an 11-2 win at region foe Woodland-Stockbridge last Tuesday, a 22-0 win over region foe Dutchtown at home on Thursday, and a 12-0 win at Wayne County on Friday.

There were also a couple of close victories over better teams – 4-3 in extra innings in their home opener against Houston County on Wednesday and 3-1 against Jeff Davis in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday. The Lady Hounds beat Statesboro 8-1 in the second game.

The only thing they couldn’t beat in their first week of action was the weather. Rain cancelled their home game with Strong Rock Christian on Monday.

Jones County was scheduled to play two more region games this week to finish the grueling start to the season – at Union Grove on Tuesday and at Eagle’s Landing on Thursday.

Lyons was especially pleased with the win over Houston County last week.

The Lady Bears were No. 4 in the preseason rankings for Class 6A. Jones County was No. 7 in Class 5A.

“They’ve got a really good program. Winning a game like that does a lot for your confidence early in the season,” he said.

“The first couple of innings we left like eight people on base and made some baserunning blunders, but we kept swinging the bats and making adjustments and came back.”

Houston County went ahead 2-0 with a run in the first and another in the top of the third.

But the Lady Hounds battled back with a run in the bottom of the third on a hit batter and RBI double by Kaitlyn Brower and another in the fourth on an RBI single by Mayson Watford after Molly Keenum reached on catcher’s interference and a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Grace Carr.

Both teams scored a run in the fifth, with Jones County’s coming on a line drive homer to center by Brenay Howard.

Afterneitherteamscoredin the sixth and seventh, Jones County broke through with a run in the bottom of the eighth for the win. Destin Howard reachedon an error. Courtesy runnerMaddieBeckwassacrificed to second by Stephanie Youngblood and moved to third on a ground out by Carr. She scored the winning run on a two-out, two-strike slap single by Watford, who finished with four hits and two RBIs in five at-bats.

Freshman Destin Howard got the win in relief of junior SavannahWilliams.Williams gave up three runs, only two earned, on seven hits and a walk in five innings. She struck out two. Howard held Houston County scoreless over the last three innings on twohitsandawalkandstruck out one.

“I like the makeup of our pitching staff. We’ve got three different types of pitchers in Mayson, Savannah and Destin,” Lyons said. “It is kind of good to be able to switch things up after a time or two through the lineup to keep the other teams off balance.”

In the opener at Woodland, Brenay Howard went 3-for-3 with two doubles, Watford was 2-for-4 and Kloey Goins drove in two runs. Watford got the win, holding Woodland to two runs on four hits and a walk and striking out two in four innings.

Dutchtown was overwhelmed on Thursday, with Jones County scoring seven runs in the first and 15 in the second.

Mackenzie Kilpatrick hit two home runs in the second, a two-run shot and a three-run homer.MadisonBennettalso had a two-run homer, and Macy Norman a solo homer.

Watford struck out seven and gave up only two hits for the win.

The Lady Hounds scored six runs in the first, two in the second and four in the third in the big win at Wayne County on Friday.

Brenay Howard hit a two-run homer and Destin Howard a two-run double in the first. Kilpatrick tripled home a run in the second, and Goins had a two-run double in the third.

Williams got the shutout win, holding the Yellow Jackets to three hits and striking out three.

Watford held Jeff Davis to one run on three hits and a walk in six innings for the victory Saturday morning. She struck out three. Howard held Jeff Davis hitless in the seventh for the save.

Both teams scored a run in the second. Brower singled in Kilpatrick, who had tripled.

The Lady Hounds added two unearned runs in the sixth for the victory. Goins and Brenay Howard both reached on errors and scored on another.

Bennett and Destin Howard each went 3-for-4 and Goins was 2-for-4 to lead Jones County at the plate in the win over Statesboro.

Williams got the win, giving up one run on four hits and striking out four in five innings. Destin Howard held Statesboro hitless over the final two innings, striking out two and walking one.

The Lady Hounds will be off this weekend. They host Ola in a region game at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, play Veterans at Georgia College & State University on Wednesday and visit Stockbridge on Thursday.