The No. 6 and top-seeded Red Devilettes (21-10) had their bats working in Game 1, scoring nine runs on nine hits — including a pair of home runs — but were slowed down in Game 2, as they fell, 5-4, in eight innings.
"It didn't turn out quite the way we wanted it," Bowdon coach Ralph Sanders said. "We just couldn't get it done — it's that simple."
In the first inning of Game 1, Bowdon scored enough to put the game away with a three-run effort, including a two-run home run from Jacole Stephens. The Lady Tigers (14-14) got a run back in the third before the Red Devilette bats put the game away.
Katlyn Buchanan brought Lyric Maze home with an RBI double in the fifth before a five-run sixth ended the game an inning early. Madison Dye did most of the damage with a grand slam before Buchanan got an RBI groundout to put Bowdon up eight runs, ending the game.
Trinity Strickland picked up the win, giving up just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and a pair of walks in six innings of work.
The second game went Bowdon's way early, as well. This time, it took until the third inning, but, again, Stephens got a big hit with a two-run double and one batter later Maze provided a two-run home run to give the Red Devilettes the 4-0 lead.
Washington-Wilkes would chip away for a run in the bottom of the fourth and two in the fifth before tying the game with a run in the seventh and getting the win in extra innings.
There were chances for the Red Devilettes to put the game away with both their offense and defense. Bowdon stranded a runner at third in the sixth, at second and third in the seventh and again in the eighth. There were also miscues on defense, as one time a player was not at second to field a throw and another throw was off-target to get crucial outs.
"We had runners at second and third with nobody out and weren't able to get a run in. In a tie-breaker, if you're the visiting team, you've got to score that run. You've got to put pressure on that team to score two to beat you," Sanders said. "We threw the ball around, didn't cover bases. If you don't play good teams the way you're supposed to play good teams, they're going to beat you — it's plain and simple."
In the second game, Madison Runyan went 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk. It was Strickland who would end up taking the loss, working the final 2.2 innings of the game.
The Lady Tigers were boosted by the return of Lauren Chafin, who had to sit out the first game because of a suspension. She pitched the full eight innings in Game 2, giving up four runs on nine hits with a walk and 14 strikeouts.
"The thing in that first game, they had a suspended player, which was that pitcher. We didn't know how good she was. It was one of those situations where she was quicker than we anticipated and we just didn't play it very well. We didn't hit very well, we probably had more strikeouts [Wednesday] than we've had in a long, long time. We'll line up and do it again [Thursday] and see what happens," Sanders said.
The deciding game will take place today at Bowdon at 5 p.m. Washington-Wilkes won the coin toss and will serve as the home team.