Jackson came up big in the clutch again Thursday as her three-run home run in the top of the seventh brought the game into extra innings where the Lady Canes would win on the road at Pickens in the 10th inning, 4-3, for their first region win of the season.
“She’s certainly someone I rely on in the middle of the order,” Cartersville head coach Shannon Dietrich said of Jackson. “It’s nice to have someone come through. That’s what we’ve been lacking. For someone to finally come through with some timely hitting, we certainly needed it.”
Cartersville got down early in the game when Pickens scored three unearned runs in the first inning. However, neither team scored again until Jackson’s home run.
Starting pitcher Annalyn Yantis held Pickens in check as she allowed just four hits and two walks over 10 innings with six strikeouts.
Yantis also held Pickens scoreless through three extra innings even with the international tiebreaker putting base runners on second base to begin each inning.
“Annalyn was the winning pitcher. She was lights-out. She really was,” Dietrich said. “She’s been pitching well. She just hasn’t been getting the support that she needs from her defense and run support. [Thursday], we finally came through even though it was late in the game.”
The Cartersville offense threatened to score multiple times in the game before breaking through with Jackson’s home run, including having runners reach third base in each the second, fourth and sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, Brittany Huth led off the inning with a single and Molly Wilson reached on an error. Allie Jackson then moved the runners over to second and third base before Mallory Jackson drove them home with her home run.
In the 10th inning, Jackson came through again with a triple and later scored on an error, which ultimately would be the game-winning run.
Jackson went 3-for-5 in the game to lead Cartersville while Yantis had two hits, including a double.
Jackson and Yantis are leading the Lady Canes this season in batting average as Jackson is hitting .387 with two home runs and a team-leading seven RBIs, while Yantis is hitting .375.
Cartersville now moves to 1-4 in region play and 3-7 overall.
“We got off to a rough start,” Dietrich said of the season so far. “We had to fix some things early on here and I think we’ve been getting over the hump and we’re on the right path now. I think we’re going to be better for it.”
The Lady Canes return to action Tuesday at home against Southeast Whitfield.