THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE
OF FPD ATHLETICS

Softball Drops Region 7-A Tournament Semifinal Thriller at GMC Prep 5-4

MACON, Ga. – The postseason always has its way of a following dramatic script.

The same was true on Wednesday night, Oct. 7, as the FPD Lady Vikings (19-6, 7-3 Reg. 7-A) fell to the GMC Prep Lady Bulldogs in eight innings in the semifinal round of the Region 7-A Tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs move on to face Tattnall Square on Thursday, Oct. 8 in Milledgeville at 6 p.m. while FPD will await an at-large bid to the GHSA Class-A State Tournament in the coming weeks. The Trojans defeated Stratford Academy 14-5

“It was a hard fought game by two extremely talented teams,” FPD head coach Jim Turner said. “There were so many momentum swings in this one and in the end someone had to come out on top. Unfortunately it wasn’t us tonight.”

The Lady Bulldogs bit first in the bottom of the first when Taylor Long reached base on one of four Lady Viking errors on the night plate Sutton Long for a 1-0 GMC Prep lead.

“We didn’t make the routine plays when we had to tonight,” Turner said. “We knew coming in we had to be sharp and parts of our game were. But, surrendering four errors won’t get the job done most of the time.”

But the Lady Vikings stomped back to take the lead an inning later.

FPD scored two runs on an Amanda Evans triple that brought in Peyton Worsham and Jill Rogers to give FPD a 2-1 advantage.

“That was a big hit by Amanda,” Turner said. “It shifted the momentum our way and she has been hitting the ball well late in the season for us.”

But the pendulum swayed back in GMC’s favor in the bottom half. The Lady Bulldogs sent two runners home on a Sutton Long double that scored Sinclair Harding and Megan Rackley.

The game would remain 3-2 in favor of the Lady Bulldogs until the top of the seventh when the dramatics would render and stay until the final out of the contest.

With two outs and two on, Emily Rutledge tied the game at 3-3 with a double to score Karsen Ochs.

“We fought so hard throughout the game,” Turner said. “We knew we had to give it our all in our last at bat.”

“That was huge hit by Emily,” Turner added. “The momentum shifts throughout this game were incredible and both coaches knew it was going to come down to extras to get the win and advance.”

And it did.

Playing with the international tiebreaker rule (the player who recorded the last out from the prior inning begins on second base) in the top of the eighth, the Lady Vikings punched across a run for a 4-3 lead when Rogers hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Sadie Frame.

“Jill has played great all year and has been one our best players in clutch situations,” Turner said. “She showed it there.”

With a 4-3 lead, FPD needed just three outs to advance to the Championship game.

But a Lady Viking infield error allowed two runners to reach to set the stage for GMC Prep’s Sara Margaret Mason.

And Mason delivered with a deep single to score Kaylee Harding and Sutton Long to send to Lady Bulldogs to the title game.

“It hurts because our girls played with a lot of heart and energy,” Turner said. “They poured their guts out and came up just one run short. I’m proud of their effort for never giving up and at the end of the day you have to tip your cap to your opponent whoever it is. They played a great game.”

Check www.fpdvikings.com and @FPDVikingSports on Twitter for breaking news on the Lady Vikings in the GHSA Class-A State Tournament in the coming weeks.

FPD will still continue regular season play in hopes of staying sharp for a deep run in the GHSA Class-A Private State Tournament.

The Lady Vikings are awaiting word from Schley County for a possible game on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Time and location will be determined once officially announced.

FPD will also host Strong Rock on Thursday, Oct. 16 at the FPD Softball Complex with first pitch set for 5 p.m.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FPDathletics.

BOX SCORE:

BOX SCORE:
GMC PREP 5, FPD 4

FPD 020-000-11 — 4-8-4
GMC 120-000-02 — 5-4-1

WP: Sara Margaret Mason. LP: Carli Sutton.

2B: GMC – Sutton Long; FPD – Emily Rutledge, Karsen Ochs.
3B: FPD – Amanda Evans.

Game notes: GMC Prep advances to Region 7-A Tournament Championship game on Thursday while FPD will await for an at-large bid to the GHSA Class-A Private State Tournament … Sara Margaret Mason hit a walk-off single to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth…Sutton Long was 1-for-4 with two RBI’s for GMC Prep…Evans was 2-for-3 with two RBI’s for FPD…Rutledge tied the game in the top of the seventh on a double…Jill Rogers was 1-for-3 with one RBI for FPD.

Records: FPD 19-6.

Next: Tattnall at GMC Prep, 6 p.m., Thursday; Strong Rock at FPD, Thursday (Oct. 15), 5 p.m.