After a much-improved season in 2012 from a year ago, the Lady Knights softball team entered the Region 4 tournament on Tuesday. The Lady Knights first game, originally scheduled for Monday but postponed due to the weather, came against the No. 1 seeded Lady Wolfpack from Woodland High School.
Of the 11 teams in Region 4, the top eight teams advanced to the Region 4 tournament, leaving Riverdale, North Clayton, and Jonesboro out of the event.
The No. 8 seeded Lady Knights looked to avenge a 4-1 loss to Woodland from earlier in the season, but five errors in the contest proved costly, as the Lady Knights dropped their first game in the double-elimination tournament in just four innings to Woodland, losing 13-0. Three of the Woodland runs were unearned, due to the Lady Knights defensive struggles. Upson-Lee managed only one hit in the game.
With their backs against the wall, the Lady Knights took to the stands, watching the end of the Dutchtown vs. Griffin game, knowing they would take on the loser. With Griffin trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lady Bears scored two runs to take a 4-3 lead, and eventually sealing the victory. The Lady Knights would face a Dutchtown team which they beat last week by an 8-7 score.
In the elimination game against the Lady Bulldogs, Upson-Lee jumped out to an early lead over a team which looked defeated after a tough first round loss. Senior first baseman Chasity Holliman blasted her first home run of the year, in the form of a grand slam over the right field fence, giving Upson-Lee a 4-0 lead. Crystal Spoon earned a walk in the next at-bat, and took second base on a wild pitch. Upson-Lee catcher Harleigh Lippert drove home Spoon with a double down the right field line, increasing the Lady Knights lead to 5-0.
Spoon toed the slab for the Lady Knights, facing the Lady Bulldogs for the second time in less than a week. Spoon pitched a complete game in the Lady Knights 8-7 victory over Dutchtown back on Sept. 27. Spoon pitched well, but the Lady Bulldogs capitalized on a pair of three-run homers.
With the Lady Knights trailing 6-5 in the third, Upson-Lee turned to sophomore pitcher Kaylee Ellington, but after taking the lead on the Lady Knights, the Lady Bulldogs offense seemed rejuvenated. Ellington was able to get out of the third inning without any more damage.
However, from that point on, the Lady Knights bats cooled off and the Lady Bulldogs bats heated up. Dutchtown scored five more runs over the next two innings, taking an 11-5 lead. Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Wainwright came in to pitch in the fifth inning, striking out three batters, while allowing zero runs on only one hit, but the damage had been done. The 11-5 loss ends the Lady Knights season with a record of 9-11, much improved from the 6-22 record in 2011.
Chasity Holliman led the Lady Knights with two hits, four RBI, and a run scored. Demeshia Russell, Haley Self, and Harleigh Lippert also added base knocks for the Lady Knights in the loss.