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Carter, Lady Rebels wrest region control from Lady Mustangs
Julia Carter celebration
Lady Rebels Julia Carter (from left), Rylee Mills and head coach Jane Trzaska meet on the infieldto celebrate after Carter snuffed a sixth-inning rally with just two pitches following a 30-minute delay for lightning. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON -- Effingham County's Julia Carter kept South Effingham from getting the thunderous hit it needed to win a lightning-delayed game and gain control of the Region 2-AAAAAA standings.

Following a 30-minute lightning delay Thursday, Carter needed just two pitches to get out of a serious one-out jam. With runners at second and third base, she got a swinging third strike on Mattie Turner and then Valerie Bailey grounded out to Rylee Mills at first base to end the threat, setting the stage for a 4-2 Lady Rebels victory.

The Lady Mustangs (10-2, 3-1) entered the frame down 4-0. Alex Brown, who had two hits, scored on an infield error and Caraline Stone later belted a sacrifice fly that plated Whitney Thompson to cut the lead in half.

Like in the Aug. 26 meeting between the rivals that was aborted in the fourth inning due to lightning, the Lady Rebels (7-1, 5-0), winners of 24 straight region games, jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first frame. The runs came after Lauryn Wilson hit a soft fly ball that landed in front of a diving Kaley Stone for a two-RBI hit. The ball was quickly retrieved and returned to the infield where Wilson got caught in a rundown. 

Rylee Mills tried to score during the rundown but was thrown out at the plate by Brown, the shortstop.

Effingham County got its other runs on a third-inning double by Carter and a  sixth-inning sacrifice fly by Harleigh Caine.

Carter logged eight strikeouts and allowed four hits in six and one-third innings. She gave way to Mills, who logged one strikeout and no hits while closing the contest.

Lady Mustangs ace Bailey Kendziorski went the distance in the circle, allowing nine hits and three walks.

Addie Reynolds and Caleigh Eubanks led the Lady Rebels at the plate with two safeties apiece. 

Brown got two of South Effingham's four hits.

South Effingham and Effingham County will play at Rebel Field on Tuesday at 6 p.m. with first place again on the line.