DAHLONEGA, Ga.- The Coker softball team faced two tough opponents on the day in No. 1 North Georgia and King (Tenn.), but fell to both 6-0 and 2-0, respectively, to bow out of postseason play and end their 2018 season.
Christine Carver started out the game against the No. 1 Nighthawks with two strikeouts to begin the second day of regional action.
North Georgia went on to score in the second (1), third (2), and fourth (3) innings to earn the win.
Taylor Forehand entered in the fifth to shutdown the Nighthawks and did so quickly, striking out the first batter she saw.
The Cobras got their first hit of the game, a single down the left field line, from Allyson High with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Their second hit came from the pinch hitting Madison King, a single to center field, in the bottom of the sixth.
The Navy and Gold defense turned two double plays in the game. In the sixth, a ball was hit to Diane Servideo who tossed it to Anna Gluhosky who then threw to Maria Williamson at first, but was unable to get the batter. A heads-up play from Williamson resulted in the runner going home being tagged out by Makayla Shore. The second came in the seventh with a sharply hit ball to Hannah Price, who immediately stepped on the bag for a forceout, and threw a laser to Williamson to get the batter out.
Carver (19-8, 1.90 ERA) finished with eight strikeouts in the loss, pitching four innings. She gave up all six earned runs, and three walks on 86 pitches. Forehand had solid three innings of work, allowing just three hits, one walk, and striking out three batters on 52 pitches.
Coach Travis McCall commented in the postgame interview, "We're really proud of our two kids on the mound. I thought they competed the whole game but … we have to start fast and score early".
Coker squared off with eighth-seeded King (Tenn.) in an elimination matchup. Tightly played through-and-through, the Tornado touched home twice to take the win 2-0.
In the top of the second, King pulled off a squeeze play to plate their first run. The third out was courtesy of a diving catch from King in center field to save more runs from scoring.
The Navy and Gold marked their first hit of the game in the bottom of the third on a Brianna Strickland single to center.
The Tornado struck again in the top of the fourth for an insurance run on a tight, controversial play at second seeking the third out. Mindy North dove toward second base with the ball in her glove for a forceout but the runner was called safe, allowing the runner at third to score for the second run of the game.
Gluhosky squared up the first extra base hit of the day for the Cobras with a double down the left field line in the bottom of the fifth.
King made another magnificent defensive play in center field. In the top of the sixth, she dove like Superman in right center for the second out of the inning.
Coker had a chance for the win in the bottom of the seventh. Hannah Goodman hit a single up the middle. High and Gluhosky drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with two outs. However, a groundout to the shortstop ended the game with no runs scoring.
Carver quieted the Tornado in her three innings, striking out two batters on 40 pitches.
"It's been 11 years [since Coker has been in the regionals] but I don't think it'll be 11 more years until we're back. We'll be back very soon. I think Coker softball is here to stay," closed out Coach McCall.
Coker finishes 2018 with a record of 36-18.