The Calhoun Lady Jackets struggled the entire evening offensively and fell to the Lovett Lady Lions 3-0 Thursday at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus. They will now battle Jefferson High School in the loser's bracket with no margin for error from this point forward.
"This is the way we've played all season long," Lady Jackets head coach Diane Smith said. "One game, we do great. The next game, we looked like we've never played before."
Calhoun mustered just four hits through seven innings. The Lady Jackets had one hit prior to the sixth inning. Sophomore Emma Rogers led off the sixth with a bunt single. After a popout to Lovett's shortstop by senior Carlie Henderson, senior Erin Barnes and junior Lyndi Rae Davis hit back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out.
However, sophomore Molly Banks struck out and junior Hannah Mashburn grounded into a 4-3 third out to leave the runners stranded.
"I looked back at the book and we either flied out or struck out," Smith said. "We made no adjustments at the plate whatsoever. I really thought we would after everybody had seen (Lovett's pitcher) that first time, but they kept doing the same old thing."
"They should be playing their best ball right now," Smith said. "But you can't go up into the batter's box and not have a positive attitude and be scared. You're not going to do well. We swung at balls and then there were strikes that went by. We had several strikeouts looking."
The Lady Jackets will face the Jefferson Lady Dragons on Friday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. on Field 2 of the South Commons Softball Complex.
"We're not going to give up," Smith said. "They all said out there (after the game) they're ready to take on the challenge. It's doable. It's just, how much fight do they have in their gut? It's up to them. We can continue our season or they can end it."
Earlier in the state playoffs, Jefferson beat the Sonoraville Lady Phoenix 2-1 in their first round best-of-three series.
Both Calhoun and Jefferson will be looking to move on in the loser's bracket, as the winner of Jefferson/Calhoun will play again on Friday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. against the loser of Franklin County and Southeast Bulloch.
On Thursday, Franklin County beat Lumpkin County 10-2, and Southeast Bulloch bested Ringgold 5-2.