COLUMBUS - Greenbrier ended any debate on which team was the best in Class AAAA with an emphatic 12-0 win over Chapel Hill in the championship game of the state softball tournament Saturday.
The top ranked Lady Wolfpack (35-5-1) cruised to the first championship in school history by beating the Panthers for the second time in as many days.
"Beating them last night gave us a psychological edge," said Kristi Nichols, who rebounded from a bad game Friday to go 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The Greenbrier offense led the way, putting six runs on the board in the first inning. Jessica Borum and Amanda Glover drew bases-loaded walks, and Nichols drove in two with a one-out single.
Ash Florie and Kayla Adams added RBI in the bottom of the first to effectively end the game. The Wolfpack haven't allowed more than three runs when ace Kristan Glover has been on the mound this season.
Glover cemented her legacy as one of the greatest pitchers in the short history of fastpitch softball in Georgia.
The Tennessee Tech-bound senior extended her scoreless innings pitched streak to 47, which dates back seven games - to the region championship game against Jones County.
"I just got into a rhythm," Glover said. "I pitched well and the team played great. I can't even take this all in right now. I waited for this moment for four years."
While she did give up four hits in the game - the most she has allowed since the state playoffs began - Glover only gave up nine hits over the four-game state tournament.
"What more can you say about Kristan Glover that hasn't been said," Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said. "I can't imagine a better pitcher in this state's history."
Appropriately, Kristan's sister, second baseman Amanda, dove to catch a soft liner to end the game and begin the celebration.
"We all, I think, just wanted to win this for Kristan and all the seniors," Amanda said. "I knew how much she wanted this and I am happy for her."
After her sister made the final out, Kristan was mobbed by her teammates on the mound. A teary-eyed Glover accepted the state championship trophy and shared it with the seniors while Black got doused with water.
Minutes later, Glover and Black shared a long embrace and he told her, "Thank you for all you have done for this program."
Black credits Glover's gutsy performance in the Brookwood Invitational's second day as the turning point of the season. Glover pitched six games in two days and threw the second day with a sore pitching arm.
"Kristan put us on her back during that tournament," Black said. "We didn't lose another game after she beat North Forsyth on the second day."
The Wolfpack won 17 straight games to finish the season and never lost to a Class AAAA opponent. Greenbrier was ranked No. 1 all season with the exception of one week in August.
"The is the best team in (Class AAAA) period," Black said. "I wouldn't say it if i didn't mean it. I think this is one of the best fastpitch softball teams put together ever."
The Wolfpack will lose Kristan Glover, Nichols, Laura Tracy and Vicki Mazur - but returns most of the state's premier hitting team. Most of the underclassmen said they will get back into the weight room soon to get ready for next season.
"We know how it feels to be here," junior Brittany Leverett said. "Who wouldn't want to be in this position next year? We will be hungry."
Reach Jonathan Heeter at (706) 868-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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