Scott, Bass power Lady Dogs to Columbus
All season, the Georgia Military Prep Lady Bulldogs softball team has been playing with a single phrase in mind — get on the bus.
“We have a lot of haters, and our haters call our coach the bus driver,” said Layla Long, who had the lone RBI in the first game of the series. “So we just say get on the bus.”
Wednesday night, the Lady Dogs stayed on the bus all the way into the Elite Eight, as they swept Lanier County to advance to Columbus.
In the first game, the Lady Dogs knocked off Lanier County by a score of 1–0 thanks to a stellar outing from pitcher Taylor Scott and a piece of clutch hitting by Layla Long.
“Taylor Scott was great. She came in and did what she needed to do. We had one run lead that entire game and she was able to keep them from scoring,” said Lady Dogs head coach Allen Simmons. “I think they only had three or four hits in that first game, and in the second game she came out with that same fire and intensity and shut them down again.”
Despite a slow offensive start in the game, GMC found its rhythm in the bottom of the second inning when a double by Long scored the game’s only run.
“I was thinking that I have to keep my team on my back,” said Long of her clutch at-bat. “Everything I do I do it for them, so I just needed to get that hit for them.”
From there, Scott and the defense behind her took over, as they didn’t allow a Lanier County baserunner to get past first base for the rest of the game.
“I honestly think we have the best defense in Middle Georgia, regardless of if we’re 1A team,” Cade Bass said.
In the second game of the series, GMC finally found its offensive rhythm, as they doubled their run total from the first game in the game’s first inning.
Then in the fourth inning, the Lady Dogs got four more runs to push their lead to 6–0. For the Lady Dogs, Cade Bass started the scoring with a big RBI double that plated the first two runs of the inning.
“I was just thinking I need to hit it the opposite way, which Coach Simmons tells me all the time. And that I just needed to stay back and score those two runs so that I actually knew we were going to win,” said Bass. “I was just thinking, no matter if they bobbled it or got an error or if I just hit it on the ground or in the air, it didn’t really matter. Just so long as I score those two runs and get on base.”
From there, Lanier County tried to mount a late-game rally, but Scott and the Lady Dogs’ defense proved to be too much, as they shut down the Lanier County’s’ bats in the bottom of the seventh inning to hold the take the game 6–3.
Going forward, Scott said her mentality and approach toward each game would not change because of the teammates she has behind her.
“I know my team always has my back no matter what situation we’re in,” Scott said.
Next, the Lady Dogs will head back to Columbus where they will have an opportunity to avenge last year’s state championship loss.
“I’m proud of our team because we’re super young and that’s exactly how it was last year, and I just know what it feels like to lose a state championship and I don’t want to go through that again,” said Bass. “We play the very first game when we get to Columbus, and we play the people we lost to in the state championship last year. So I think that honestly makes it more exciting for us.”