Jenna Nall went 3-4 with a double and two RBIs to help the Lafayette softball team defeat Hamilton County and move on to the district title game. 

MADISON — Playing in her first district tournament, Hailey Peterson made a big impact for the Lafayette softball team. 

The sophomore made a game-changing play on defense, pitched two scoreless innings and contributed with one of the Hornets’ 11 hits in Tuesday’s district semifinal against Hamilton County. Richelle McDonald, Jenna Nall and Charlie James led the way offensively with multiple hits as Lafayette earned an 11-1 victory in six innings. 

With HCHS threatening in the bottom of the third inning, Peterson made a nice pick at first base, corralling an in-between hop, to end the inning and help LHS maintain a 5-1 lead.   

“That changes the whole momentum in a one-game playoff,” Lafayette coach Derek Garland said of Peterson’s play. “It was 5-1 at that point. If we don’t make that play, it’s 5-3.” 

After that play at first base, Lafayette outscored Hamilton County 6-0. The Hornets notched two runs in the fifth inning and ended the game in the sixth with four runs.

“We swung the bat good early,” said Garland. “We got a couple of key hits and put a few runs on late. Pitching, Richelle (McDonald) did a good job and Hailey came in and threw well.”

McDonald pitched four innings and gave up one run on two hits. At the plate, McDonald hit an RBI triple and reached base three times.

Nall went 3-4 with two RBIs for Lafayette (10-12). She had a double in the sixth inning that sparked the Hornets’ offense. 

Shay Hampton had a single and a walk for Hamilton County (8-12) and also made some nice plays at shortstop. Rachel Fry went 1-3 with an RBI while Hannah Law scored the only run of the game for the Trojans.

“We battled tonight, just didn’t hit well,” said HCHS coach Bobby Wintons. “But like I said at the beginning of the season, this is going to be a good ball team. I’ve got seventh graders and eighth graders starting. We took some bumps and bruises, but now we’re headed in the right direction.”

Lafayette will face Madison County at MCHS on Thursday for the district championship. 

Suwannee tops Bolles to reach district championship game

The Suwannee High softball team defeated Bolles 7-3 on Tuesday to advance to Thursday’s district title game against Baker County.

SHS scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning, highlighted by Maci Brown’s two-run home run, to take a 4-3 lead. Suwannee (10-11) added two runs in the fifth inning and one run in the sixth.

Carson Frier, Kaiya Hurst and Summer Thomas notched two hits apiece for the Bulldogs. Karis Smith got the start and pitched four innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Alexis Dalton pitched the final three innings and gave up one hit.

It was Suwannee’s second straight win. The Bulldogs defeated a strong Santa Fe team in extra innings on April 25. Smith pitched all nine innings of that game. Brown went 3-4 and hit the game-winning home run. 

Dixie County knocks out Branford

The Branford softball team saw its season come to an end with a 12-6 loss to Dixie County on Monday in the first round of the district tournament.

Trenton and Bell will play for the District 7-Class 1A title on Thursday. 

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Mike Jones is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press in North Florida.