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Local softball teams advance in state tourney
by Greg Oshust
October 16, 2012 01:32 PM | 1192 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Clyde Click<br>
Alex Ansley waits for the pitch in Westminster’s first-round series with Pepperell last Wednesday.
Special / Clyde Click
Alex Ansley waits for the pitch in Westminster’s first-round series with Pepperell last Wednesday.
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Westminster moved a step forward in its quest for a state softball title as the Lady Wildcats won their opening-round series of the Class AA state playoffs last week.

The host Lady Wildcats swept Pepperell in two games, winning the first game 7-1 and taking game two 4-2 to complete the sweep.

Westminster (15-15) faces a big challenge in its second-round matchup as it hosts Heard County — the top-ranked team in Class AA — in a best-of-three series.

The first two games will be played today at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., with a third game scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m. if needed.

The winners of the second-round series will advance to the state finals in Columbus Oct. 25 through 27.

With its first-round state playoff sweep, Westminster continues an impressive late-season surge that includes a five-game winning streak and six wins in its last eight games.

The Lady Wildcats started out the season at 7-2. But, with injuries to key players like pitcher Michelle Bonnot, catcher Maggie Wellborn and shortstop Andi Carrandi, they proceeded to lose 13 of their next 17 games.

With all of their top players back in the lineup, however, the team came back to win the Region 6AA tournament as well as advancing to the state second round.

“We had lost three key players to injuries, but now we are now 100 percent healthy,” Westminster coach Brent McGuire said. “We’re playing good softball. We’re playing good defense, we’re pitching well and we’re executing well offensively. We’re coming together at the right time.”

While Westminster moves on in the state playoffs, Lovett saw its hopes come to an end as the Lady Lions lost their first-round series with Dade County in two games last Wednesday.

Lovett (10-17) lost the first game 3-0 and then was eliminated from postseason play with a 12-2 loss in game two.

Pace and Mount Vernon are getting ready to begin postseason this week in the Class A state private school playoffs.

Pace (15-11) qualified for the state playoffs after being ranked 12th out of 16 teams among Class A private schools in the GHSA power ranking.

“The girls are obviously very excited,” Pace coach Kris Palmerton said. “We’re ready to get started.”

The Lady Knights will go on the road for their best-of-three Class A private school state playoff first-round series today as they take on St. Anne-Pacelli, the No. 5 seed, in Columbus.

Mount Vernon (8-13) is the 16th-ranked team in the Class A private school power ranking and the Lady Mustangs will travel to Bogart in Oconee County to play No. 1-ranked Prince Avenue Christian.

Marist (22-9) is headed for the state second round after sweeping Cedartown in two games in their first-round Class AAAA series last Wednesday.

The Lady War Eagles defeated Cedartown 5-4 in the first game and 6-5 in game two to complete the sweep and will now host Lumpkin County in a best-of-three second-round series, beginning today.

Blessed Trinity (23-12) defeated Banks County in three games in its first-round Class AAA series. The Lady Titans won the first game 5-1 and lost game two 5-1 on Wednesday before winning 9-0 in the third and deciding contest on Thursday.

Woodward (16-7) and St. Pius X (4-25) will not be joining Blessed Trinity in the AAA second round after losing their opening-round series.

Both teams were swept in two games, with Woodward losing to Dawson County and St. Pius falling to Buford, the top-ranked team in AAA.
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