WARNER ROBINS -- Tennessee scored four runs in the third inning and withstood a late Georgia threat to claim a 4-3 win Friday in the winners’ bracket of the Little League Softball Southeastern Regional.
Dannah Persinger allowed only four hits and threw a complete game for Tennessee, while Jaycie Jenkins had two hits and two RBI.
“I think the girls got a little more fired up because we were playing Georgia in Georgia, and they are always one of the better teams in this tournament,” said Tennessee head coach Danny Persinger, whose team will play North Carolina at noon on Sunday. “We have been able to put together some very good pitching and timely hitting, and that’s what we were able to do in this game. We weren’t surprised that Georgia came back at the end because they are a very good team, but we are glad to get the win and get a much needed day off on Saturday.”
Georgia scored first in the top of the third. With two out, Ellie Williams singled and advanced to second on a fielder’s interference call. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Williams scored when her twin sister, Emma, reached on an error.
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The lead didn’t last long, however, as Tennessee put together four hits and a walk, coupled with an infield error, for its four-run inning.
Georgia scored a run in the top of the fourth when Taylor Corley doubled and scored on a two-out hit by Raegan Stella.
With one out in the top of the fifth for Georgia, the weather took over. Lightning and heavy rain forced a weather delay of more than four hours.
Neither team scored in the fifth once the weather cleared up, but Georgia threatened in the sixth and final inning.
With one out, Maddie Langevin singled and advanced to second on Stella’s walk. Olivia Brown then hit a fly ball to left field that was dropped, loading the bases with the top of the order up for Georgia. Ellie Williams hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to drive Langevin home for Georgia’s third run, but with runners on second and third Dannah Persinger struck out Kaylee Brown to end the game.
“I just got under the ball a little bit and didn’t quite get all of it,” Ellie Williams said. “I still think we are fine, and we will come out on Saturday and be fired up and I am sure we will play well. I still have a lot of confidence in everyone on this team.”
The Georgia team faced a similar situation in the state tournament, when it lost 2-1 to Columbus early on before coming through the elimination bracket.
Georgia faces South Carolina at noon on Saturday.
“We will probably use this game to motivate us,” Georgia head coach Roger Stella said. “We came out a little sluggish and just couldn’t quite get over it.”