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Top Lady Dogs: Lady Dogs win first sub-region softball crown, head to playoffs

They've made history in two different ways.

For the first time ever, the Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs have won a sub-region championship in fast-pitch softball. At the same time, they also are in the Class AAA state playoffs for the first time ever.

All of the excitement has come within less than a week.

First, the Lady Bulldogs accomplished their sub-region title feat last Wednesday after traveling to Sandersville, defeating the Washington County Lady Golden Hawks 6-1.

"It was a great win for the girls," said Thomson Head Coach Jason Osborn. "I'm very proud of them, because they have worked awfully hard this season. They deserve good things to come their way."

Following this past weekend's region tournament in Savannah, where the Lady Bulldogs finished the No. 3 seed, they now are set to play this weekend in the first-round of the Class AAA State Playoffs, which begin in Dublin on Friday.

"We are not sure who we play in the first game, but it looks like either Crisp County or Cairo," Coach Osborn said. "The team is very excited about playing in the state playoffs for the first time ever."

Just two days prior to playing Washington County in their last regular season game, the Lady Dogs won another big region game, blanking the visiting Cross Creek Lady Razorbacks of Augusta, 7-0. It gave Thomson a sweep of the Lady Razorbacks this season, the first time they have ever beaten Cross Creek. The same recently was true when they played and defeated the Harlem Lady Bulldogs, 6-4.

In the game against Washington County, the Lady Bulldogs didn't have near the problems they had the first time the two teams met each other this season. That game saw Thomson have to battle back with five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning before pulling out a 5-4 win.

The latest time around was much different, as Thomson played much better, offensively and defensively.

Thomson's Hannah Pereda, who plays right field, went perfect on the day, going 2-for-2 and scoring a run. Second baseman Nichole Usry, meanwhile, went 2-for-3, driving in a run and scoring twice. Center fielder Heather Shivers went 1-for-4, driving in a pair of runs and scoring a run. First baseman Chelsa Reeves went 2-for-4 and scored a run and Amber Overton went 1-for-2, drove in a run and scored once.

Overton also earned the pitching victory, her third one in as many games.

During the region playoffs last weekend in Savannah, Thomson got off to a tremendous start, defeating the first two opponents they faced.

In the first game of the region tourney, the Lady Dogs blanked the Hephzibah Lady Rebels 11-0. Overton recorded the win on the mound.

Thomson was led in their hitting attack against Hephzibah by the following players: Shivers, who went a perfect 3-for-3 with 3 RBI; Nichole Usry, 2-for-3 with 2 RBI; and Pereda, who also was perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI.

Later last Friday, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Cross Creek for the third time this season. The final score was 6-2.

Once again, it was Overton collecting the win as the pitcher.

Thomson was led by a three-run homer by senior Mary Catherine Finnerty.

"Her homerun was huge," Coach Osborn said.

Facing South Effingham in the winner's bracket last Saturday, Thomson was shut out 5-0.

"We struggled offensively in that game," Coach Osborn said. "They had the best pitcher that we've faced all year."

In the last game of the region tourney, Thomson took on the Harlem team again. Unlike the last time the two teams met where Thomson won, it was Harlem coming out on top 2-1.

That game saw Overton allow just one hit. Both of Harlem's runs were unearned and came following a pair of miscues by Thomson in the second inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Thomson had an opportunity to tie the game on a RBI single by Shivers. However, senior Gloria Rowland was called out at home plate in what Coach Osborn described was "a bang-bang play."

Shivers went 2-for-4 in the Harlem game.

Web posted on Thursday, October 18, 2007

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