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Lights fail Eastside, Morgan Co.
Game concludes without declaration of a winner

COVINGTON - Eastside led 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning when Tuesday's game was halted after the lights went out, forcing the game to finish without an official winner.

The ruling by the Georgia High School Association, according to Eastside coach Jason Stokes, states that since the game went five innings and it is considered a completed game. Because both teams did not finish batting, it would go back to the last inning played, which puts Eastside winning 3-1.

However, Stokes does not want to win like that.

"I totally want to be fair," he said. "Even if it is the ruling, I don't feel that is fair. I think we should pick it up where it left off and finish it.

"Both (athletic directors) will call the GSHA and talk about the certain situation and figure something out. We may end up playing the last two innings on Thursday at 5 (p.m.)."

If the game were to start where it finished, Stokes feels that the advantage would belong to Eastside even though the Lady Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth and had the momentum.

Giving the Lady Eagles the edge is the fact that pitcher Amanda Henderson would just have to throw two innings with a couple of days rest.

"We have a two-run lead and one out. I think it would put them at a major disadvantage because Amanda goes out there fresh and pretty much shuts the door on them, in my opinion," Stokes said.

In five innings, Henderson had 10 strikeouts, six in the first two innings, while giving up five hits.

The Lady Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the third when Victoria Reich scored when Kenya Shakoor's blooper landed between a couple of Morgan County players.

After Morgan County tied the game in the fourth, Eastside scored two runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 edge.

The first run scored on the fourth walk of the inning to plate Savannah Upshaw before Erin Steele crossed the plate on an Amanda Hawkins sacrifice fly.

Even though the Lady Eagles had the lead, and possibly the win, Stokes was not thrilled with the fact that Eastside only has two hits, by Steele and Shakoor.

However, he was pleased with the patience the team had shown at the plate. The Lady Eagles were given free passes to first base nine times.

"I keep saying that hitting is not a concern because I hope that we're going to turn it around," Stokes said. "But we haven't hit the ball like I thought we would.

"We're working no short swings when you're down in the count, put the ball in play and don't swing at something in the dirt or above their hands. They've been taught that all their lives, their just putting it together."

The Lady Bulldogs had one out in the top of the sixth with the No. 3 batter in the box when the lights went out, forcing play to be suspended.

"It's pretty strange," Stokes said. "It's like the umpires said, it's a first for him."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.