GUYTON — The Effingham County softball team moved to 15-3 Monday after defeating non-region foe South Effingham 7-4.
The Rebels extended their win streak to seven games by getting powerful hitting from Francie Gaskin. The senior led Effingham County with two hits and two RBI.
“She’s one of those players that keeps the team loose,” Rebels head coach Jane Trzaska said. “She is playing for the betterment of the team. Today, she did it for us.”
The Mustangs held a 1-0 lead until the Rebels unleashed a scoring barrage in the fifth inning. Julia Carter and Gaskin each belted an RBI double and Sydney Newberry crushed one of her own to give the Rebels a 5-1 advantage.
South Effingham answered with three runs in the sixth frame. Chloe Turner’s RBI double and Pinette’s run off an error by catcher Addie Reynolds trimmed the deficit to two.
It wasn’t enough, however.
“I always tell them we have to keep putting runs up,” Trzaska said. “South is one of those teams that has a lot of fight in them. They put three on the board late.
“We just had to stay calm and we got out of it with the least amount of bleeding as possible.”
The Rebels battled past the strong arm of freshman Haylee Johnson, who pitched four innings.
“I was just telling them to make adjustments up at the plate,” Trzaska said. “Make the adjustments right away. Don’t expect to see different pitches.
“Go at it and make the adjustments. Change your approach.”
The Mustangs, who dropped a 6-0 decision to the Rebels in August, fell to 10-13.
Mustangs head coach Samantha Tracy complimented Johnson’s early success, which gave her teammates a chance to stay in the game.
“She hit her spots early on,” Tracy said.
Trzaska credited her team’s five seniors for providing leadership to her squad.
“They know it’s their last season and they push the other girls and, honestly, our freshmen stepped up,” she said. “They don’t play like freshmen. They get in there and they grind and they have been such a help to us this year.
“I like the mix of the people in our lineup right now. It is something special.”
Julie Carter pitched five innings and gave up three hits and four runs. Freshman standout Rylee Mills finished the night and gave up just two hits.