HARLEM — Harlem again flexed its muscle en route to a sixth consecutive region title Wednesday night.
The Lady Bulldogs shut down a talented Screven County team with a doubleheader sweep at home to clinch the Region 4-AA championship.
Both teams will enter the Class AA playoffs with first-round games at home, including a No. 1 seed for defending state champion Harlem (19-6).
“It feels good,” Harlem coach Mike Leverett said. “I’ve been on the losing end of five in a row, so I know how it feels. Six in a row feels great. It puts us in a better position.”
Harlem swept its way through the region slate and region tournament in undefeated fashion, capped by wins of 10-1 in five innings and 11-2 in six innings against Screven County (18-9). The Lady Gamecocks’ only region losses this season came against Harlem.
“The thing about it is, you win five region titles and sometimes you get complacent, but I told these girls (Screven County) doesn’t have a bad ball team,” Leverett said. “A lot of our girls came through and put the bat on the ball. No strikeouts. That’s good to see.”
Harlem’s Skyler Wiggins came through with two big efforts between the circle and at the plate in both games. After going 3 for 3 with three RBI and adding four scoreless innings with five strikeouts in Game 1, the left-hander backed it up with two hits in Game 2, including a three-run home run, and five innings of one-run ball.
Kali Garrett added a home run and four RBI in the first game and two hits in the second game. The Lady Bulldogs received at least one RBI from four hitters in Game 2.
Screven County’s Kara Canetto totaled three hits in the doubleheader, while GeeGee Beasley picked up two hits and an RBI in Game 2.
After the Lady Gamecocks kept the deficit at 3-1 through 3 1/2 innings of Game 1, the Lady Bulldogs broke it open with a seven-run fourth. Wiggins singled home two, Anasja Sanders singled home one, and Garrett capped it with a grand slam for a nine-run lead.
Harlem scored seven in the first four innings of the second game and led 7-2 until a four-run sixth broke it open.
Wiggins capped the scoring with a three-run blast to center field.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Region 4-AA Championship
HARLEM 10, SCREVEN COUNTY 1 (5 INNINGS)
Sarah Beasley and GeeGee Beasley. Skyler Wiggins and Kali Garrett.
2B: Wiggins (H), Skylar Strickland (H). HR: Garrett (H).
Leading hitters: Screven County-Kara Canetto 2 for 2. Harlem-Wiggins 3 for 3.
HARLEM 11, SCREVEN COUNTY 2 (6 INNINGS)
Skyler Wiggins, Dixie Hill (6) and Kali Garrett. Kara Canetto, Melanie Mitchell (4) and GeeGee Beasley.
HR: Wiggins (H).
Leading hitters: Harlem-Wiggins 2 for 2, Garrett 2 for 2, Peyton Perdue 2 for 2.
Records: Screven County 18-9, Harlem 19-6. Next: Harlem and Screven County at home in first round of Class AA playoffs, Oct. 11.