Following a 5-3 loss Tuesday night in the district tournament, the Franklin County Lady Seahawks will host Bozeman this Thursday in the Class 1A Region 2 semifinals.
The Lady Seahawks enter the regionals as the second-seed, with Bozeman the third seed. The top-seeded Liberty County Lady Bulldogs are seeded first, and take on fourth-seed Sneads.
In Tuesday night’s district championship in Blountstown, the Lady Bulldogs jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Franklin County came back with a pair in the bottom of the inning to pull ahead.
The Lady Bulldogs then posted a run in each of the next three innings, and a fifth run in the top of the sixth, while the Lady Seahawks got their third and final run in the bottom of the inning.
“I just thought it was a tough game, there were a lot of strategies involved,” said coach Scott Collins, whose team fell to 18-8 on the year.
Collins decided on four intentional walks, and Lady Bulldog coach Jennifer Sewell opted to walk two Lady Seahawks intentionally.
“They left 19 runners on base, and we left 12,” Collins said. “We didn’t hit the ball as well. We needed some big hits.”
Sophomore pitcher Sarah Ham scattered nine hits over six innings, including a home run to senior Hayven Bunkley, as she allowed four earned runs. She struck out five and walked six.
Liberty County junior pitcher Lauren Grantham struck out six and walked five, as she allowed two earned runs on five hits.
The Lady Seahawks’ offensive output was led by seventh grader Addison Mallon, who drove in a run on a double. Sophomore Micahlyn O’Neal hit a double and scored a run, while eighth grader Lilah Millender, sophomore Ryan Brown and Hamm all had hits. Sixth grader Shasta Butler had one RBI.
“They have five starting seniors and two starting juniors, and we’re still very young,” said Collins. “Just being in that situation last night is going to help us. It’s going to help us a lot.”
The Lady Seahawks faced Bozeman once this year, in the district semifinals, and were victorious 8-2.
“They’re a good ball club and they will test us,” said Collins.