South Effingham’s softball team took a break from its Region 3-AAA schedule to play one of the best teams in the state on Friday.
The Lady Mustangs traveled to Georgia Tech in Atlanta to play Greenbrier, Class AAAA’s No. 2 team.
South Effingham lost 2-1, but SEHS coach Donnie Ussery said the experience is worth it.
“I think just the opportunity to be at a Division-I softball field was wonderful,” he said. “The girls want to play at the top level and just to step on that field is something they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Both Ussery and Greenbrier coach Garrett Black played all of their players.
“The greatest thing that came out of it is everybody got the opportunity to play,” Ussery said. “Just to step on that field was special.”
The Lady Mustangs had a 1-0 lead going into the fourth inning, but the Lady Wolfpack scored two runs in the fourth inning to take the lead.
South Effingham couldn’t get any thing going the rest of the game and fell to 13-10-1 overall.
“I was real happy with the way we played,” Ussery said. “We played well defensively and pitched well. We just couldn’t come up with the big hits. We haven’t been able to drive in the big runs.”
Allison Kirkland was charged with the loss. She pitched the first five innings, allowing two earned runs and three hits.
“She pitched a great game and the only hits she gave up were to the girls going to Georgia Tech (Bethany Anderson and Elizabeth Gaston),” Ussery said. “Those girls are special. You don’t find hitters like that walking in the state.”
Sally Faircloth pitched the sixth inning and Casey Johnson pitched the seventh inning. Greenbrier’s Katie Tracey pitched a complete game for the win, striking out six batters. The Lady Mustangs only mustered three hits off the sophomore.
Katie Rietkovich hit two doubles and scored South Effingham’s sole run. Sarah Parker picked up the other hit.
Crystal Sellers knocked in Rietkovich in the third inning.
The junior varsity Lady Mustangs also took the field at Georgia Tech, defeating Greenbrier’s JV squad 5-2.
The varsity Lady Mustangs resumed subregion play Monday at Liberty County, but the game was not completed in time for press.
South Effingham travels to Waynesboro to play Burke County at 4:30 p.m. today. The Lady Mustangs host a doubleheader with Hephzibah at noon on Saturday.