LOCUST GROVE – The Lady Cavaliers came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat ABAC 7-5 and win the 2014 Region 17/GCAA Softball Championship in Locust Grove, today.
Darton, despite having beaten ABAC five times in previous games this season, found themselves in a tough position early. ABAC’s Jenna Byrd hit a home run off of Darton’s starter, Tiffany Bishop, and put ABAC up 3-0 in the third inning.
However, Darton’s Nicole McInerney countered with a 2 RBI double in the bottom of the fourth to change the game. Darton scored another run and entered the fifth inning tied 3-3.
The Lady Cavs picked up to more runs in the fifth and added another pair in the sixth, but ABAC scored three runs in the seventh in a late-game rally against reliever Sommar Wright to get within two runs of Darton’s lead.
Wright, however, struck out Byrd for the third out of the inning and clinched Darton’s 19th straight win and the Region 17 Championship title.
“Considering that these girls started three days after the official start date, I think that speaks about their toughness,” 1st year Darton head softball coach Eric Neel said. “They’ve overcome a lot.”
The win punches Darton’s ticket to the 2014 NJCAA D1 Softball National Championships in St. George, Utah, beginning May 14.
“We’ve already talked about it,” Neel said. “They’re not satisfied. They want to win the whole thing.”