Jackets' softball team rallies after loss

The Jackets needed to turn things around or risk letting their season spiral out of control, and they were able to do just that.

North Augusta High School's varsity softball team lost to White Knoll 8-7 to start the week. However, the team bounced back to beat Cardinal Newman 10-4 and South Aiken 7-2. The Jackets (9-6, 4-4 Region 5-AAAA) were able to bounce back after dropping four in a row.

Meghan Whitfield picked up the win against Cardinal Newman, Sarah Fulmer went 2-for-2 with one RBI, but Kaleigh Busbee came up biggest for the Jackets. She went 4-for-4 with four RBI in the victory.

Against White Knoll, however, North Augusta head coach Derrick Quinn feels as though his team missed out on some opportunities to get a statement victory.

"We had it won, we had the bases in the last inning with one out and we didn't get the tying run or the winning run in," he said. "We had opportunities and we just didn't capitalize. We weren't playing good ball in the last week going into Tuesday. But we turned it around, and I think that Thursday against South Aiken we had our best overall ballgame of the year.

"Not only were the wins big in the win-loss column, they were also huge for the team's confidence."

Those games we lost could of easily have gone in our direction," Quinn said. "They can't afford to lose their confidence. They're a young team, but they all can play. If they didn't have the ability to play, they wouldn't be playing for me. For some reason they were real relaxed on Wednesday, (against Cardinal Newman) and we played two solid ball games back-to-back. I'm very proud of them."

As far as individual players who stepped up, Quinn points to Fulmer.

"The last two games, I think she, off the top of my head, she went 7-for-8," he said. "She has really shown some good senior leadership for us. When times have been tough, she has kept us all together and helped us get through that tough week we had.

"Coming up the Jackets do not play again until Friday in the Triple Crown Tournament in Citizen's Park in Aiken. Their part of the bracket will feature Brookland-Cayce, Easley and Wando.

When asked about the teams coming up, Quinn joked that "usually they don't play in it unless they're pretty good."

"I don't think there will be any easy games, but we're excited to play in the tournament," he said.

As far as looking toward the playoffs, Quinn knows just a few things for certain.

"First off, White Knoll is going to win our region," he said. "It's between us, Lexington and Dutch Fork for second through fourth. Everyone has to play one another, and we've got to play Dutch Fork and Aiken still in the region. Lexington and Dutch Fork have to play each other and they both have to play White Knoll again. I mean, everything is up for grabs. I really don't care what position we come in, as long as we make the playoffs, and we're playing good softball at the end."