The Lady Eagles, hosting a playoff series for the first time, ignited for five runs with one out in the bottom of the sixth to invoke the run-rule and claim an 11-3 victory in Game 1 — the first postseason victory in team history.
In the nightcap, however, South Cobb committed three errors in the top of the fifth that resulted in four runs for Colquitt County, which went on take a 5-2 win and split the series-opener doubleheader.
That left the decisive Game 3 to be held today at 3:45 p.m.
“We’re a young team, and we played like it in that second game,” South Cobb coach Mark Collins said. “We played like we hadn’t been here before, even though we won the first game.
“We were humbled in that second game. We weren’t mentally ready to play, and we acted like it. We just have to execute, play better, and have smarter at-bats (today). These girls need to learn that, at this level, you can’t come out flat. We didn’t do anything good in that second game, and we’re going to have to play a whole lot better to win this series.”
Becky Collins, who was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored in the first game, plated Jaynisha White in the first for South Cobb’s first run.
After Colquitt County (16-14) tied it in the second, Aliyah Lebouf, who was 2-for-4, hit a two-out triple in the third to plate two of her four RBIs for a 3-1 South Cobb advantage.
The Lady Packers pulled within 3-2 in the fourth, but the Lady Eagles (20-9) added to their margin behind a two-run single from White for a 6-3 lead.
South Cobb invoked the run rule two innings later after scoring five runs on five hits.
After back-to-back singles from Ariell Lebouf and Keajuana Crymes, Asia Moore was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A forceout at home was then followed by three consecutive singles from Collins, Terilyn Harris and Aliyah Lebouf, allowing Crymes, Moore, White, pinch-runner Stephanie Cantrell and Harris to score and end the game.
White batted 3-for-4 with two RBIs and scored three runs in the first game, as the Lady Eagles’ first five batters were a combined 9-for-16 with 10 RBIs. South Cobb totaled 12 hits in the contest, while Brittany Rhodes limited Colquitt County to three runs — two earned — on six hits over six innings.
The nightcap started out as a pitchers’ duel between Rhodes and the Lady Packers’ Ainsley Davis, who also started Game 1.
Two walks and two singles in the bottom of the fourth put Colquitt County on top 1-0. Then, disaster struck in the fifth as the Lady Packers scored four runs off one hit and three South Cobb errors to stake a 5-0 lead.
South Cobb scored twice in the top of the sixth off three hits, including a RBI triple from Desirae Rhodes and a two-out pinch-hit single from Harris, but stranded runners on second and third to end the rally.
In the nightcap, Davis limited the Lady Eagles’ first five batters to a 4-for-18 performance with one RBI, while Brittany Rhodes allowed six runs — one earned — on six hits and walked four to take the loss.
“I told the girls in between games that we hadn’t won anything yet,” Mark Collins said. “Brittany pitched well in both games, so she gave us a chance. But give credit to Colquitt County, they’re a good defensive team. We’ll have to match their defensive effort (today).”