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Lady Gamecocks fall to Bacon County in three

Faltering in a five-run Bacon County third, the SCHS Lady Gamecocks fell 10-6 in Alma on Oct. 19 to just miss their first trip to Columbus since 2009. 

Finishing the season at an impressive 21-11, the Red and White had not been so close to reaching the Elite Eight in Muscogee County since 2010. SCHS, the 4AA runner-up and BCHS, the 2AA champion, split on Oct. 18 to bring about the rubber game last Thursday.

With Columbus on the line in Game 3, SCHS, playing as the home team in the contest, went up 3-2 after two innings when Madison Lewis doubled in courtesy runner (for catcher Maggie Hafer) Kortlyn Rankin and GeeGee Beasley. 

Lewis scored on a single by Payton Ward. 

The wheels, however, came unglued in the third as Bacon picked up five runs that included two costly errors and three walks/hit batsmen. All started after two outs and no one on.

Bacon added to their lead the following inning to 9-3, but the Red and White were not finished and did not go without a fight as they got three in the sixth.

Sarah Beasley had an RBI single and two runs scored when Ward reached on an error.

But here were no more runs coming.

For six seniors -- GeeGee Beasley, Kara Canetto, Pamela Dixon, Maggie Hafer, Kortlyn Rankin, and Payton Ward -- the game was their last for the Lady Gamecocks. It also was the site of the final game of their freshman year when the Lady Raiders ousted them from the state playoffs in the same spot in the brackets, that being the Sweet Sixteen.

Late inning heroics by the Lady Gamecocks in Game Two on Wednesday brought about the chance to play in that third game. 

SCHS picked up three in the bottom of the seventh when Sarah Beasley’s walk off hit plated Canetto and Rankin to give her team a 6-5 win. 

The Red and White trailed 5-3 entering the final frame. 

The Lady Gamecocks also picked up a run on a bases-loaded walk to Hafer prior to Beasley’s hit. In the game, the Lady Gamecocks outhit the Lady Raiders 9-7 led by Canetto’s three hits.

Hafer and Beasley had two RBI each.

The opening game saw Bacon, who managed only two hits, plate single unearned runs in the second and third to take a 2-0 win. 

SCHS got four hits but was 0-6 with runners in scoring position. 

A timely pair of hits in those situations and Thursday’s game would not have been necessary. In the seventh, the first two SCHS runners reached but three outs followed.

No one had multiple hits.  

Canetto pitched a pair of complete games on Oct. 18, allowing just three earned runs, and was also called on to start the series finale. She pitched into the disastrous third before being relieved by Sarah Beasley. 

Canetto also returned to the mound in the sixth.

In their 32 games, the Lady Gamecocks finished with a team batting average of .360. 

Seven regulars topped the coveted .300 mark led by Canetto, a Liberty University commit, at a school record .577 (56-97). She was followed by Hafer, an Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College commit, at .468 (36-77); Meliyah Atkins at .349 (30-86); Sarah Beasley at .341 (28-82); Camille Seckinger at .338 (25-74); GeeGee Beasley at .326 (29-89); and Payton Ward, an East Georgia State College commit, at .319 (29-91). 

Other regulars were Madison Lewis at .240 (18-75) and Pam Dixon at .230 (14-61).

Canetto set a new record for runs in season with 49, while Hafer set a new record for RBI with 43. For her career, Canetto leaves holding at least five season records and seven career records.

From the rubber, sophomore Melanie Mitchell was 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 innings. Junior Sarah Beasley was 9-5 with a 2.02 ERA in 83 innings and Canetto was 9-6 with a 2.16 ERA in 74.2 innings.