Eight local softball teams to begin their bids for Columbus
by Carlton D. White
October 10, 2012 01:11 AM | 3169 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For Bre Hubbert and her South Cobb teammates, today will mark a new milestone for the program. The Region 4AAAAAA runner-up Lady Eagles will face Colquitt County for a doubleheader, hosting a state playoff game for the first time. 
<Br>Staff photo by Emily Barnes
For Bre Hubbert and her South Cobb teammates, today will mark a new milestone for the program. The Region 4AAAAAA runner-up Lady Eagles will face Colquitt County for a doubleheader, hosting a state playoff game for the first time.
Staff photo by Emily Barnes
Eight of the county’s softball teams began their bids for a state title by clinching postseason berths through their respective region tournaments last week.

Seven of those teams — Kennesaw Mountain, Hillgrove, Harrison, Lassiter, Pope, Kell and Allatoona — were in the state playoffs last year, while South Cobb is back after missing out a year ago.

All of them will be vying for a spot in the state finals, which will be held Oct. 25-27 at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus.

First- and second-round playoff games will feature a best two-of-three series format, with doubleheaders today and a third game, if necessary, played Thursday. Second-round series are set for Oct. 17-18.

“This is it for the seniors,” Allatoona coach Troy Pirkle said. “The state playoffs is the last hurrah and the final opportunity for them to lay it all on the line. Everybody’s going to be playing with more sense of urgency, and nobody is going to want to quit. That’s what the playoffs are all about, playing until the very end.”

Kennesaw Mountain, South Cobb, Hillgrove and Harrison reached the playoffs out of Region 4AAAAAA.

Region champion Kennesaw Mountain (25-3-2), in the state playoffs for the ninth consecutive year, will host Region 1AAAAAA No. 4 Coffee (14-9) today.

Meanwhile, region runner-up South Cobb (19-8) will host third-seeded Colquitt County (15-13). The Lady Eagles, who have already set a team record for wins in a season, are hosting a fast-pitch state playoff game for the first time in their history.

“It’s been a little crazy,” South Cobb coach Mark Collins said. “Just planning things out with Colquitt County and taking care of things with our athletic director. I plan on working a half-day (today) to make sure that everything is OK.

“I have some parents that have stepped up to help out, and my coaches are taking some time off from work, too. I would love to see some of the teachers and staff and kids out there (today). It would be great support for the girls to have a really rowdy crowd.”

Hillgrove (24-8) is making its third straight playoff appearance and fourth in the last five years. As the No. 3 seed, the Lady Hawks will visit Region 1AAAAAA runner-up Lowndes (20-8).

Harrison (17-11) is making its eighth state playoff appearance in nine seasons. The Lady Hoyas will travel to Region 1AAAAAA champion Tift County (25-3).

A region champion last year, Lassiter (26-4-1) couldn’t get past Region 5AAAAAA rivals Etowah and Cherokee — two teams responsible for all four of the Lady Trojans’ losses — resulting in a No. 4 seed this time around.

The Lady Trojans, who are making their eighth straight postseason trip, will head to Region 8AAAAAA champion and seventh-ranked Brookwood (22-10) for the first round.

Pope (21-5), which fell in its bid at a region championship last season, claimed the Region 7AAAAA title — its first region crown in fast-pitch history — this time around, and will host Region 6AAAAA No. 4 Arabia Mountain (16-6). The Lady Greyhounds are making their third consecutive playoff appearance, and fourth overall.

“The girls have been following the playoffs, and we know Arabia Mountain is a good team, so we’re cautiously optimistic,” Pope coach Chris Turco said. “They were 14-1 at one point, but lost some games late, so we can’t anyone lightly. We’ll need to bring our ‘A’ game.”

Kell (15-8) is in the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. The No. 3 seed from Region 7AAAAA, the Lady Longhorns visit Region 6AAAAA No. 3 Miller Grove (16-6-1).

The winner of that series could face Region 5AAAAA champion Allatoona in the second round. The Lady Buccaneers (22-9), who last week won their first region championship, will host Region 8AAAAA No. 4 Apalachee (15-16) today.

Allatoona is in the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

“We need to win four games — two this round and two the next round — to get to Columbus,” Pirkle said. “We have a team that’s pretty excited about where we stand, and we like our chances. This is a great time of the year.”

While the brackets for the state’s five highest classifications have been filled, the Class A tournaments — separated for private and public schools — won’t begin until Oct. 17-18.

Based on the final MaxPreps.com power rankings released Tuesday, Whitefield Academy likely earned a postseason berth — which would be its second straight — with a No. 15 listing.

The Lady Wolfpack will officially learn their fate after the Georgia High School Association posts the final brackets this afternoon on its website.
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