Going into the rubber match between the Glynn Academy Lady Terrors and the Brunswick High Lady Pirates, a lot was on the line between the two schools.
For Brunswick (3-14, 1-12) it was about continuing to build off momentum, something they gained when they shut down Glynn Academy in the second game of their series on Monday.
As for Glynn Academy (9-10, 5-8), it wasn’t all about claiming the City Championship for another year, but a region win to put them fourth in the standings.
Neither school started well during their first time through the order, as both Ava Dunham (Glynn) and Mac Rauscher (Brunswick) pitched well on the mound.
It wasn’t until the top of the third when Glynn Academy brought damage against Rauscher, who had dominated them in the circle in Monday’s game.
Trinity Wise got things going for Glynn Academy with a one-out single that bounced off the glove of Brunswick’s Kiley Craig over at third base. As the ball rolled towards the foul line fencing, Wise used her wheels to get to second base.
After a fielder’s choice by Olivia DeRon, Glynn’s Mikell Thomas stepped up to the plate with two outs and Wise on third base. Thomas hit a hard RBI single past the shortstop to break the deadlock and put Glynn Academy on the board first.
Thomas made her way to second base on a wild pitch during Bella Theus’s at-bat, putting the second runner in scoring position of the inning for the Lady Terrors. Theus delivered for her team on the ninth pitch of her at-bat, ripping a hard grounder to the outfield to score Thomas who beat the throw home for the second run of the inning.
Caught in a run-down, Theus was able to not only hold up to let Thomas score but made it back to first with a head-first dive before a diving tag was put on her.
“Usually after every game, we have a come to Jesus,” Glynn Academy head coach Dawn Ketcham said with a smile. “The girls, they know that when it comes to the region we aren’t really worried about the City Championship (in its stature). As for the region, we needed to have this game and the game on Tuesday (Evans). We just have to take every game one game at a time. We needed this one right here. I think they went in knowing for the region, to eventually move on, we had to win this game.”
Continuing to do well at the plate after seeing Rauscher once through, Glynn added another run in the top of the 4th after drawing back-to-back walks to open the inning. After a double steal put both runners in scoring position, Skylar Wilborn drove in the lone run of the inning on a fielder’s choice that scored Katie Wagner from third.
Brunswick didn’t stopped battling against their crosstown rivals, putting a runner in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the fourth before a first pitch foul out to Theus behind the plate ended the Lady Pirates’ chances of getting back into the game.
Glynn Academy added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Thomas belted a double over the head of Makayla Ponsell to put runners on second and third for Theus.
Having already delivered once for her team, Theus did it once more when she swung on the first pitch from Rauscher to Ponsell out in center field. DeRon scored easily and Thomas turned on the burners with Ketcham sending her home as Brunswick was slow to retrieve the loose ball that hit the backstop during the throw home.
Down 5-0 and being quiet during the middle of the inning, head coach Rayven Riggs and her coaching staff delivered motivational words to bring life to the girls to not quit.
Using that motivation and noise from the Lady Pirate fans, Brunswick put together a few quality at-bats on Dunham.
Ponsell got the first hit of the inning when she beat the throw from third on a slap hit. Anna Kate Owens laid down a bunt that Dunham scooped up and held a throw to keep Ponsell at second.
Having runners on first and second, Emma Chance stepped up to the plate for Brunswick and on the first pitch she saw, she crushed a ball over the head of Thomas out in center to score Ponsell. During the relay to home Owens was thrown out as Theus caught the ball and laid down a tag as she was run over in the process. Brunswick only got one run out of the inning as Chance was stranded at third base after a ground out to third.
Glynn added two more runs in the top of the seventh to push its lead to 7-1 before Dunham recorded a complete game for the team after forcing three straight infield ground outs to end the game.
“She did great,” Ketcham said of Dunham’s complete game. “She keeps her composure on the mound, and you can’t tell if she is happy or if she is sad. She is just there and she is just solid. Very happy with her being in the circle.”
Celebrating with the City Championship for another year, Coach Ketcham said the win was nice to have over Brunswick but the full focus is securing a top 4 place with five region games to go.
“Yes, a great big win,” Ketcham said. “Girls looked good today, the defense was great, bats came along. But they played well as a team. Everybody was able to get in and everybody helped out and they had their role and they did great.”
On the losing end of the City Championship game, Rauscher got a big hug from Coach Riggs after her performance in the circle.
“Yeah she did good,” Riggs said of the freshman pitcher. “She did what she could do. All we ask is that she throws strikes and she did.”
Being a young team, Riggs said the team needs to be more consistent with forcing easy pop-ups during their at-bats.
Coach Riggs said her team will still be up as they battle towards the end of the season.
“We are up and we are going to bounce back from this,” Riggs said of staying positive. “We have (Friday) off because we have been going hard all of this week. We are going to rest and then get back at it Monday when we (host) Charlton County.”