With the Diamond Classic finished, both Spalding and Griffin High School’s softball teams are looking to region play.
Spalding finished the five-game tournament with a record of 4-1, while Griffin finished 2-3.
“We did OK, about as expected,” Griffin head coach Rusty Hudson said. “All three that we lost we were in the ball game until the end.”
Griffin split the Friday games with a 10-2 win against Lamar County and a 3-2 loss against Georgia Military. The Lady Bears then defeated Crawford County 6-0 in the first game on Saturday, but fell 2-0 to Jackson and 5-0 to Spalding to finish the tournament.
Hudoson said he was impressed with the team’s pitching and defense, but wanted to see improvement on the team’s offense by the time the Lady Bears begin region play on Aug. 30 against North Clayton.
“We’re still young and we’re still learning,” he said. “We swung it OK, but there were time where we’d go three of four innings and not do anything with the bat.”
Hudson added he is not too concerned with wins or losses this early in the season. Instead, he just wants his team to continue to improve to be in good shape come mid-season.
“We’re still just a little behind than where we normally are, but my main goal is to win our region games and be prepared when we get to the region tournament,” he said. “And we will do that.”
The Lady Jaguars showed that they were in good form over the weekend.
Jenni-Lynn Smith threw a no-hitter and struck out 10 as Spalding opened Friday with a 2-0 win against Peach County. The Lady Jaguars lost in the second game of the afternoon 4-1 against Newton.
The team then came back to sweep its three games on Saturday. Cember Carmichael had two hits in a 2-0 win against Jackson, Spalding collected 12 hits in a 11-2 win against Crawford County and Smith allowed two hits and struck out seven in a 5-0 win against Griffin.
“We performed well. We made some physical and mental errors (against Newton), but we played extremely well as a team on Saturday,” Spalding head coach Matt East said. “We still have a few things we need to work on, but we learned who can play some different positions and we found out who our leaders are.”
East estimated that between 500 and 700 people attended the two-day tournament at Volunteer Park.
East thanked the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Department and SCPRD heads Louis Greene and Bart Miller for their work over the weekend
“The tournament was a huge success on the field and off the field,” East said.
Spalding opens region play this afternoon against Mary Persons at home with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
“I learned a lot, the girls learned a lot about our team, and we’re ready for the region play starting (today),” East said.