Trailing 4-1 after the top of the sixth inning, the Toombs County Lady Bulldog softball team rallied twice in the final two innings to beat Portal 7-6 in their 2015 season opener in Lyons. The victory was the first for Brian Fitzgerald as the head coach of the Lady Dawgs and it mirrored many of his come back victories as head coach of the TCHS baseball team. Watch Highlights Slideshow
in the bottom of the sixth, Abigail Lynn (2-for-4) led off with a double to center. Taylor Thompson followed with a RBI single to left. Ansley Tatum (2-for-4) singled to to left to drive in a run and then Megan Dukes hit the ball to the left side of the infield scoring Tatum to tie the game at 4-all.
Portal scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to regain the lead at 6-4 and then in the bottom of the frame the Lady Bulldogs staged their final comeback with one out.
Brittney Beckum led off with a walk. Lynn hit a pitch to the fence in left center to put runners on second and third. Courtney Moore reached first on a ball hit to third scoring Beckum. A wild pitch scored Lynn to tie the game at 6.
With still one out and courtesy runner Malaisha Edwards at third base. Thompson took advantage of the shortstop not playing in. Taylor hit a bouncing ball to her right. The infielder gobbled up the ball, but her throw to the plate was late as Edwards scored the game-winning run.
In the circle, Tatum pitched the first five innings and struck out four including one with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Thompson threw the final two innings and picked up the victory.
For coach Fitzgerald the victory means he opened up his career as head coach of the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs with a win.
In the 2004 baseball season Fitzgerald, then an assistant, filled in for head coach Chris Harrelson in a home game against Bleckley County and the Dawgs won that game. A key victory in a late season stretch that helped TCHS make the state playoffs. Harrelson missed that game due to the birth of his son Gage.