Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times
The Lowndes Vikettes softball team will now be known as the Region 1-AAAAAA Region Championship Vikettes after taking down the Tift County Lady Devils on Tuesday in Tifton.
The Vikettes went up against a pitcher who was nearly flawless. Adriana Durden for the Devils pitched 14 innings but gave up only five hits and just one earned run.
The Vikettes were able to overcome her efforts, however, and swept the doubleheader with a pair of 1-0 victories.
“Offensively both games were like a pitching duel,” said Vikettes Head Coach Stewart Thomas.
Tift Co. had only lost one game all season until this point and came into the doubleheader undefeated in the Region 1-AAAAAA softball race.
After the win by the Vikettes, they will finish the regular season in first place in the region.
“We played a good defensive game,” said Thomas.
Lowndes had only lost once in the region to Coffee but ended their season with the region title.
In Game 1, Rebecca Prairie got two hits in three at bats and hit the game winning home run in the top of the 7th to give the Vikettes a win.
The Vikettes pitcher was Haley Fowler for the first contest. Fowler pitched seven innings, gave up no runs and had five strikeouts, helping the Vikettes seal a victory.
The two sides played another scoreless contest through seven innings of the second matchup in the doubleheader.
“We did what we had to do in the second game,” added Thomas. “ We did not make many errors in the game and did not walk many people. We executed well to get it done in the end.”
Vikettes pitcher Crystal Eason was the starter in the second match and went six innings before being swapped out for first game starter Haley Fowler.
Eason struck out four players and gave up only two walks through her six innings as pitcher.
Fowler came in to close out the game, giving up zero runs and only one walk. Fowler did not give up any runs in her final inning of the doubleheader.
An eighth inning was forced due to the game being scoreless at the bottom of the seventh.
“Both Eason and Fowler did a great job pitching. We were able to catch them off balance and it helped us out a lot,” said Thomas.
The Vikettes were finally able to score in the eight inning to win the Region title. LaGiah Woods was the player that crossed the plate for the Vikettes after the Tift Co. catcher made an error to the pitcher, which resulted in an overthrow, allowing Woods to score.
Jada McGillberry was the Vikette who made the run possible, bunting the ball at the plate in the eighth inning.
“I bet we had about 40 people out there and they were loud. If I was a betting man, I’d say we had more than Tift Co. did. That really helped us out,” said Thomas. “I am proud of my girls and we are looking forward to the playoffs.”
The Vikettes finished 24-3-1 on the regular season and are preparing for the coming playoffs.
The Vikettes will play home playoff games on Oct. 16 and 17 against the #4 seed of Region 3-AAAAAA, which has not yet been determined.