Greenbrier's softball team is good. There's little doubt about that after receiving the No. 1 spot in Class AAAA ranking last week.
Being good isn't always enough.
"I hate to say it, but sometimes I'd rather be lucky than good," Greenbrier softball coach Garrett Black said. "We got a little lucky today."
Black's words came after the Lady Wolfpack beat Class AAAAA No. 3 Collins Hill on Saturday in a 4-3 home game that ended with a close call at the plate.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the final inning of a 3-3 game, Greenbrier's Elizabeth Gaston laid down a bunt on the third base line. Collins Hill's Karlie Gillam fielded the ball and fired home.
Whether Greenbrier base runner Ashlyn Masters was safe or out at the plate depends on whom you ask.
The man whose opinion counted - the umpire - called her safe.
"He said she beat the ball there. That's really all I can say," Collins Hill coach Billy Dooley said. "I'm just glad it wasn't a region game. I'm not happy with it, but it happens."
The 4-3 Greenbrier win over a ranked Class AAAAA school further solidified the Lady Wolfpack's spot as the top team in Class AAAA. Collins Hill, which was ranked No. 1 earlier this season, beat Class AAAAA No. 1-ranked Mill Creek on Tuesday.
"We built this up as a big game - like a sectional game or a region championship game," Black said. "It was a good high school softball game. Great environment, big crowd, and two good teams. I think Greenbrier and Collins Hill got better today because of it, and that's what we're all trying to do - get better for playoff time."
Although the final play of the game swung in Greenbrier's favor, the Lady Wolfpack set themselves up for the win with timely hitting.
Four runs on seven hits were enough to make up for a rare poor performance in the field and on the base paths. Three Lady Wolfpack runners were thrown out at the plate, and Greenbrier committed five errors.
"They were big errors too. We were fortunate today," Black said. "We put the ball in play and we swung the bats well, but defensively we had a few breakdowns. We found a way to win, and that's the bottom line."
Greenbrier ace Kassie Bailey (8-0) remained unbeaten on the year with a complete-game five-hitter. She also knocked in the first two Lady Wolfpack runs of the game with a two-run single in the first inning.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 863-6165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collins Hill 100 020 0 - 3 5 4
Greenbrier 201 000 1 - 4 7 5
Cat Tarvin, Erin Collins (7th) and Caroline Cooper. Kassie Bailey and Stephanie Rhoden. WP-Bailey (8-0). LP-Collins.
2B-Ashlyn Masters (G) 2.
Leading Hitters: Collins Hill-Alexis Lewis 1-for-2, 1 RBI, Cat Tarvin 2-for-4 .... Greenbrier-Kaila Hunt 2-for-4, Ashlyn Masters 2-for-4.
Records: Greenbrier 15-1, Collins Hill 9-5-1. Next: Greenbrier vs. Thomson, Monday, 6 p.m.