Some games just mean more. Thursday was one of those games for Oconee County High School’s softball team.
The Lady Warriors snapped the 15-game strangle hold Madison County High School had on Region 8-4A as they earned the 5-4 win over the Lady Red Raiders.
Senior Keely Glenn led the way offensively going 2-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored, a run which Glenn scored and let out a few fist pumps and a ‘let’s go’ toward the Lady Warriors’ bench.
Ashton Aycock was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior Kayla Orrell pitched seven innings to earn the win. Orrell allowed 11 hits and three earned runs.
“This is definitely a special one,” Glenn said. “Madison County is kind of our rival in the region. We have North Oconee also, but Madison County is some really tough competition for us. With it being my senior year, it’s really important to me. I won’t get to play with any of these girls after this year. I’ve grown up with pretty much every one of them since I’ve been here in kindergarten. Having these moments is really important to me.”
OCHS head coach Bryan Eades felt good about the Lady Warriors’ performance as a whole. The early season errors have been cleaned up and the defense has quickly become a backbone for the Lady Warriors.
Anna Thomas made a diving catch in left field that saved a run and center fielder Chloe Middlebrooks made a diving catch floating into right field. Both catches grabbed momentum for the Lady Warriors and saved them from big offensive innings.
“I thought we did well,” Eades said. “Kayla pitched well. We made some big defensive plays to get us out of some jams. Our outfield made three unbelievable catches. They saved us. It feels good. They [Madison County] beat us four times last year. It feels good to come out and get a win against them.”
The Lady Warriors are now in sole possession of first place in the region. Eades wants the Lady Warriors to breath it in and celebrate it, but once the next practice rolls around there is going to have to be a moving on period.
OCHS’ goal is to win the region and make a run back to Columbus. Those goals weren’t accomplished by defeating the Lady Red Raiders on Thursday. Eades knows the Lady Warriors could see the Lady Red Raiders a few more times this season.
Last season the two teams met on four occasions including their two regular-season meetings, once at the Region 8-4A tournament and in Columbus when the Lady Red Raiders ended the Lady Warriors’ season.
“We can enjoy this one for the weekend and it’s much better than losing, but it’s one win and it’s one region win,” Eades said. “In the long run all we’re playing for right now is seeding. It might help us get the one seed; we’ll see. It’s not the playoffs yet. You want to be playing your best in the region tournament. This is something we can kind of hang our hats on and enjoy but we can’t just rest easy and think the rest of the season will be a breeze. It’s not.”