A number of Northside softball teams are wrapping up the regular season and are looking ahead to competing for championships in the state playoffs which begin Oct. 12.
The first two rounds will be best-of-three series with the second-round winners advancing to the state tournament in Columbus Oct. 28 to 30.
The first two games of the Class AA, AAAA, AAAAA and AAAAAA first-round playoffs will be played Oct 12, with game three schedule – if needed – for Oct. 13, while Class A Private and AAA will be Oct. 13 and 14.
Three local teams enter the postseason with state rankings. Wesleyan is the top-ranked team and Mount Vernon is fourth in Class A Private, while Marist is the fifth-ranked squad in AAAA.
All team records listed are those as of Oct. 7.
In AAAAAA, North Atlanta (21-7) – the top seed from Region 4AAAAAA will begin its quest for a state crown with a first-round series at home against Glynn Academy, the fourth seed from 2AAAAAA.
“I am excited for the opportunity for this group of young ladies to go back to the state tournament,” North Atlanta coach Richard Plante said. “We are young, but this team has had the best season in North Atlanta history. Our road through the state tournament is going to be a tough one. I expect us to perform well and be a tough out for whoever eliminates us.”
In AAAAA, Woodward Academy (18-6) – the top seed from 3AAAAA — hosts Wayne County, which is the No. 4 seed from 1AAAAA, while North Springs (13-6) – which is expected to be among the top two seeds in 6AAAAA – will host either the No. 4 or No. 3 teams from 8AAAAA.
In AAAA, Marist (16-6) – the No. 1 seed from 6AAAA – will host the fourth seed from 8AAAA.
In AAA, Westminster (17-4) – the top seed from 5AAA – will host the No. 4 seed from 7AAA.
“The preseason poll for Region 5AAA softball placed us third out of eight teams,” Westminster coach Brent McGuire said. “We graduated four starters off of last year’s team, but the returning players were not too happy about the preseason region rankings. I think it really inspired our team to prove the rankings wrong. It was a chip on their shoulders. They won 17 games and went undefeated in region competition and locked in the No. 1 seed for the state playoffs. The team has really turned it on down the stretch and we are playing solid softball heading into the state playoffs.”
In AA, Lovett (18-11) and Pace Academy (17-7-1) were the first and second place teams respectively in 6AA as of Oct. 7. They will play either the third or fourth seeded teams from 8AA, depending where they end up seeded in 6AA.
In Class A Private, teams will be seeded from 1 to 24. The 1 through 8 seeds – with the top teams in each Area being seeded 1-4 and the second-place teams 5-8 – will have first-round byes and the 9-24 will play first-round games.
Wesleyan (19-4) – the Area 4A Private champion — is assured of getting a top-four seed in the Class A Private playoffs, while Mount Vernon (19-2) – the Area 3A Private runner-up — will be seeded anywhere from fifth through eighth.
“We knew we had a special team at the beginning of the year, with five seniors returning for their final season and a deep and talented roster,” Mount Vernon coach Mike Edmonson said. “With the leadership of our seniors and the emergence of our underclassmen as the season progressed, we have steadily improved. We feel we are executing every facet of the game well and have worked on many of the little things that we will need to be successful in the playoffs and are ready for the challenge.”