Sporting the two best records in the area, Greenbrier and Harlem are the two local teams left standing in the state softball playoffs.
Both teams completed doubleheader sweeps in the first round of the state tournaments, but did so in different ways.
Greenbrier squeaked by Ola with a combined run differential of three between the two games. The Lady Wolfpack used a complete team effort, receiving stable pitching performances from Kirsten Titus and Julie Underwood, while the hits were spread throughout the lineup.
“We’re finding ways to win,” Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said. “We’re competing at the plate, and it’s bend, don’t break, on defense.”
Harlem used the duo of Amber Garrett and Lindsey Stokes to dominate Bleckley County in its two games, combining on a 15-1 score. Garrett allowed one run on four hits over all 13 innings and added a home run, while Stokes went deep twice to lead the Lady Bulldogs.
Greenbrier will play Northgate on Thursday in the Class AAAAA Elite Eight in Columbus. Harlem plays Jefferson Davis in the Class AA Elite Eight, also on Thursday in Columbus.
“This deep in the playoffs, it can come down to one or two plays,” Black said. “We have to have the mentality to make those plays.”
CAVS AT HOME: Augusta Prep will play host to the GISA Class AAA State Volleyball Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
After finishing last season without a region title for the first time in the program’s 11-year history, Augusta Prep returned to its region-winning ways by taking home the Region 1-AAA crown, currently holding an 8-0 mark and 15-7 overall.
Following its final regular-season match today against Alleluia, Augusta Prep will seek its third state title at home in the two-day event.
OPENING STRONG: Several local volleyball teams found success in the first round of the state playoffs.
Greenbrier swept past North Springs in Class AAAAA action, advancing to the second round following its win in straight sets. Jen Purucker led the Lady Wolfpack with 12 kills, while DeJhana Cotton added 11.
Greenbrier plays host to Hiram in the second round today.
Cross Creek defeated West Laurens in five sets in the first round of the Class AAAA tournament, advancing to play on the road at River Ridge in the second round.
After battling for the region title on Oct. 13, Westside and A.R. Johnson both remain alive in the Class AA playoffs. Westside defeated Lamar County in straight sets to set up a second-round matchup at home against Rabun County. A.R. Johnson beat Temple 3-1 to advance and play St. Vincent’s on the road.
If Westside and A.R. Johnson win its second-round matches, the third round will be a re-match of the closely contested region title game that saw Westside take home the crown.