POPLAR SPRINGS — The Poplar Springs Atomics couldn’t overcome a two-point deficit in the 6th inning, although they had the bases loaded in their AA Class 1A regional semi-final against the Chipley Tigers Tuesday at Lady Atomics Field.
The Atomics fell 5-3 to the Tigers. The Tigers will advance in the regional tournament.
“We’re excited, but we still have a lot of room to improve,” said Chipley head coach Kami Fannin. “This win doesn’t mean anything, we still have to keep going and keep working harder.”
The Tigers scored early, with Kari Waldrip scoring on a double and Kara Bush capitalizing on a single. The girls were brought home by Katelynne Obert’s line drive down third base that found its way to the fence.
Bottom of the first, bases loaded, the Atomics Kelli McIntosh and Ashlyn Golden score on Savannah Ryken’s double to tie things 2-2. Two plays later, Paige Smith scores on Joley Dixon’s single to give the Atomics a 3-2 lead.
In the 3rd inning, Waldrip scored again, this time on Bush’s double. Atomics pitcher Golden struck out Kendal Daniels, but Obert’s single was enough to bring Bush home to make it 4-3.
Chipley was leading 5-3 in the bottom of the 6th inning and with one strike away, a double by Ryken followed by walks on balls by Beth Hall and Ceona Hall loaded the bases for the Atomics, but a pop-up foul by Emily Ladley was nabbed by Chipley Catcher who then tagged Ryken out at first to close the inning.
Waldrip hit a double in the 5th inning, then added the final home run off of Daniels’ single.
After Kallie Rodriguez was struck out by relief pitcher Sarah Gilbert, the Atomics had one more chance in the bottom of the 7th, but a hit deep outfield by Paige Smith was nabbed by the Tigers outfield and runner McIntosh was caught off base to finish the game.
Chipley improved to 11-12 while Poplar Springs finished the year with a 19-3 record.