For the first few innings, Evans played almost un-Evans-like.
But the Lady Knights put together a couple of scoring spurts in the late innings and pushed their winning streak to 10 with a 7-1 win over Hephzibah on Tuesday.
"The first few innings were quite intense," Evans senior shortstop Meghan Correia said. "We were a little too laid back. We jumped in and realized that we weren't playing ball and we needed to play ball and stop making stupid mistakes."
Tied at 1-all in the bottom of the second, Hephzibah (15-10) had a chance to break things open. However, with the bases loaded and one out, Evans pitcher Adrienne Daniels got out of the jam with a groundout and a strikout.
Jennifer Price gave Evans (17-5) a 2-1 lead in the third inning with a two-out RBI single.
In the fourth inning, Heather Jones extended the Lady Knights' lead to 4-1 with a two-run, two-out bloop single just behind short.
Melody Johnson broke things open in the sixth. The Evans second baseman lined a shot to the center-field fence and came all the way around for an inside-the-park homer and a 6-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Daniels got two of her 11 strikeouts to pick up the win.
Evans faces Butler on Thursday before heading to the Area 1 playoffs next week. The Lady Knights, the winner of its sub-area, will host the No. 2 seed from the Macon sub-area with the time and date to be determined.
"We're going to have to take it more serious," Correia said. "We know not everything is going to come easy."
Evans is eyeing its first region title since the slow-pitch era four years ago. Meanwhile, this year's team has not lost in nearly a month and hasn't lost to an area opponent.
"They're pretty good," Evans coach Colette Cassedy said. "They're competitive. They're going to take their knocks, but they have a lot of heart."
The Lady Knights are a young team with only two seniors, Correia and right fielder Jesse Davis. However, Correia and junior pitcher Daniels are bona fide major college prospects.
"Any of them can go play anywhere," Cassedy said. "It's just at what level they want to play their ability will take them. But we don't talk about colleges. They're out here playing for Evans and if they happen to be the exceptional one to make it on to the next level then it's good for them."
Evans will look to repeat its success of last year and make a run deep into the state AAAA playoffs.
To do that, the Lady Knight will need, "Fewer errors, fewer mental errors, fewer physical errors," Cassedy said. "My pitchers are going to have to be on. We're going to have to hit. All aspects of the game they're going to have to pick up."
Reach Chris Gay at 868-1222.
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