The Seniors of Swing, Lumpkin County’s two senior softball teams, experienced vastly different results when the Miners took on the Lake Keowee Kings and the Dahlonega Gold battled it out with the Hendersonville Sluggers in Clayton League doubleheaders at the Rabun Parks Department softball fields on Wednesday, August 7.
The Lumpkin County Miners busted out the bats and the brooms when they faced off with the Lake Keowee Kings in a Clayton League doubleheader last week.
The Kings got off to a strong start versus Miners starter Larry “The Rocket” Rodgers when they scored three first inning runs to take an early 3-0 lead.
Lumpkin County got a run back in the bottom of the inning to cut the Lake Keowee advantage to 3-1. Casey “Boomstick” Brooks led the inning off with a double to right field and “Hammering” Harvey Schmedlapp followed with a RBI double for the first Miners run of the game.
Rodgers and the Miners’ defense held the Kings scoreless in the top of the second.
Trialing 3-1, the Miners’ lineup heated up in the bottom of the second and plated five runs to take a 6-3 lead. Wayne “Got Em” Gaddis got the inning started with a leadoff single to left field. Kurt “The Big Hurt” Picker legged out an infield single to third base to give Lumpkin runners at first and second. Wayne “Happy Feet” Richards kept things rolling with a RBI double to the gap in right center to cut the Kings’ lead to 3-2. The next batter, Bill “Bash Em” Boyer followed with a two-run double to left field that gave the Miners a 4-3 advantage. Lumpkin extended their lead to 6-3 with RBI singles off the bats of Joe “Nitro” Nelson and Brooks.
The Lumpkin lead didn’t last long, however, as the Kings scored three runs in the top of the third to even the score at 6-6. Lake Keowee benefitted from two RBI doubles and a RBI single in the inning to tie the score.
Schmedlapp quickly put the Miners back in front 7-6 when he blasted a moonshot over the wall in centerfield for a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the third. Jeff “MVP” Olsen followed Schmedlapp’s bomb with an inside-the-park home run to the gap in right center, putting the Miners up 8-6. After an infield single by Don “Powerhouse” Paul and a single to center off the bat of Vince “Atta Boy” Adams, Gaddis connected for a RBI sacrifice fly that extended the Miners’ lead to 9-6. Lumpkin scored two more runs during a two-out rally to plate five runs total in the bottom of the third and to take an 11-6 advantage over the Kings.
The Kings didn’t let the five-run inning deter them and quickly retied the game at 11-11 with a four-run inning in the top of the fourth.
The Miners’ lineup continued its hot streak in the bottom of the fourth and recorded their second five-run inning of the game thanks in large part to RBI doubles by Jeff “Cool As Ice” Cassella and Brooks. Schmedlapp knocked in two runs in the inning off a single to left field and Gaddis plated the fifth run of the inning with a RBI fielder’s choice. The five-run fourth upped the Miners’ lead to 16-11.
Rodgers and the Lumpkin defense held the Kings to a single run in the top of the fifth and held on to a 16-12 lead headed to the bottom half of the frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Miners struck for two more runs to extend their lead to 18-12.
A two-run double and a three-run inside-the-park home run by the Kings in the top of the sixth cut Lumpkin’s lead to 18-17, but the Miners answered back in the bottom of the sixth with five more runs. The Miners received a two-run double by Olsen, a RBI double by Paul and benefitted from a Lake Keowee error that allowed two runs to score to push their lead to 23-17.
The Kings mustered just one run in the final inning of the game, allowing the Miners to take the first game by a final score of 23-18.
The second game of the league doubleheader proved to be all Lumpkin County, as the Miners outscored Lake Keowee 20-9 to earn the sweep.
The doubleheader sweep improved the Miners’ Clayton League record to 19-5, putting Lumpkin four games ahead of Tri-State in the Sal DeVito Division standings.
While the Miners enjoyed a sweep of the Kings, the Dahlonega Gold had a tall order to fill when they stepped onto the diamond to face off with the Hendersonville Sluggers.
The Sluggers came into the game with a sensational 20-2 league record to lead the Gordy Scargle Division while the Gold came into the game with a 1-21 league record and sat in last place in the Sal DeVito Division standings.
The Gold hoped to pick up their second league win of the season during the doubleheader, but the Sluggers proved to be too powerful for the Gold to contain.
Hendersonville put big numbers up on the scoreboard in the first game, earning the Sluggers a 28-6 victory over Dahlonega.
The Gold’s lineup struggled at the plate versus the Sluggers and failed to hit the ball where the Hendersonville players weren’t.
The trend continued in game two of the doubleheader.
The Sluggers quickly took the lead in game two when they plated five runs in the top of the first to take a 5-0 advantage. Hendersonville extended their lead to 10-0 in the top of the second before the Gold scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the second.
Dahlonega received a RBI triple from Kurt “Mighty Man” Michel in the inning to cut the Sluggers’ lead to 10-1.
The Gold’s defense came up big in the top of the third and recorded a scoreless inning behind the pitching of Bob “The Basher” Burrell and two solid defensive plays from Dahlonega’s outfield.
Dahlonega cut further into the Hendersonville lead in the bottom of the third when Don “Killing It” Kinder connected for a RBI sacrifice fly to center, Mike “Walloping” Wallace smacked a RBI double to center and Jeff “Make My Day” Maynard crushed a two-run single to left. The four-run inning cut the Sluggers’ lead to 10-5.
However, the Sluggers’ lineup continued to produce in the top of the fourth and scored five more runs to extend Hendersonville’s advantage to 15-5. The Sluggers added another run in the top of the fifth and five more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 21-5 lead into the final inning.
The Gold would score just once more in the game when Jim “Junkyard Dog” Ehlers rocketed a RBI single to center.
In the end, the Sluggers defeated the Gold 21-6 in game two to complete the Clayton League doubleheader sweep of Dahlonega.
The Lumpkin County Miners (19-5) will get their first shot at the Gordy Scargle Division-leading Hendersonville Sluggers (22-2) in a battle of the two top teams in the Clayton League when the two squads take to the softball fields at the Rabun Parks Department today, August 14, for a league doubleheader. First pitch for game one is set for 10 a.m.
The Dahlonega Gold (1-23) will look to pick up their second league win of the season when they square off with the Sal DeVito Division’s second place Tri-State Pickups (15-9) at Field #5 near the Lumpkin County Senior Center today, August 14. First pitch for game is scheduled for 10 a.m.