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Bartow County Little League softball falls to Vine-Ingle/Western

Bartow County 11-12 Little League Softball fell to Vine-Ingle/Wetern Little League Tuesday night, 3-1. After winning their first two games at the state tournament, Bartow County must now win three straight games to win the state championship.

Bartow County and Vine-Ingle/Western were the only two unbeaten teams remaining in the double-elimination tournament going into Tuesday night’s games at Hamilton Crossing Park in Cassville.

Following three scoreless innings, Bartow County scored in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead.

Sadye Johnson reached safely on an infield single and Chloe Souders followed with another infield hit to open the frame. Johnson was thrown out trying to advance to third, but that allowed Souders to reach second base with one out. Maggie Pruitt sacrificed Souders to third with two outs, but Souders scored three pitches later on a wild pitch.

The hits by Johnson and Souders would be Bartow’s only safeties on the night.

The one run lead held up for Bartow County for one more inning, but Vine-Ingle/Western scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead.

An infield error and an RBI single tied the game 1-1 before a triple forced home two more runs.

Bartow County was retired in the top of the sixth with a pair of line drive outs and a strikeout to secure the 3-1 win for Vine-Ingle/Western Little League.

The loss for Bartow spoiled an outstanding pitching performance by Souders. In five innings of work, she allowed only four hits and no walks while striking out one batter.

Bartow will play in an elimination game Wednesday at 6pm against Habersham County Little League. Habersham lost in the first round to Vine-Ingle/Western, but has staved off elimination twice already with wins over Oconee County American and Pioneer Little League. Habersham defeated Pioneer Tuesday night, 7-1.

Vine-Ingle/Western advanced to the championship round with Tuesday’s win and will need only one more win to capture the state title.

The Bartow/Habersham winner on Wednesday will play Vine-Ingle/Western in the finals and will need two wins to claim the state championship.

The championship round is Thursday night at 6pm and 8pm if needed. All games in the 2016 Georgia State Little League Tournament are being played at Hamilton Crossing Park.

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