The drought at Greenbrier is over.
After winning softball region championships from 1996 to 2010, the Lady Wolfpack were shut out in 2011. It didn’t take them long to get back to their title-winning ways, however, beating a tough Jones County team, 4-3, taking the 2012 Region 2-AAAAA crown.
“We take a lot of pride in region titles, we really do,” said head coach Garrett Black, who has been at the helm from the beginning. “I’m just very proud of these kids because we have really grown up over the last three weeks.”
The Lady Wolfpack (25-6) beat Jones County 5-4 in the tournament’s first game Wednesday, surviving a seventh-inning two-run rally. The scenario played out much the same in the championship affair when the Lady Wolfpack jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings, only to see the Lady Greyhounds (16-16-1) score two in the sixth and one in the seventh before recording the final out.
With two outs. Jones County’s Kaitlyn Woodward hit a dribbler up the first-base line that Brooke Mackelburg had to field, whirl and throw to second baseman Emily Weatherman covering the bag, nipping Woodward for the game’s final out.
“I was back, so I was just charging that ball so hard and I was just so lucky that Emily was there,” said Mackelburg.
Weatherman wasn’t sure what Mackelburg was going to do.
“I thought she was going to tag her, so I got there at the last minute and I was so scared it wasn’t going to happen,” said Weatherman laughing.
The Lady Wolfpack begin the Class AAAAA State Tournament at home against Region 3’s No. 4 seed Richmond Hill, Oct. 10, and have home-field advantage up to the finals as long as they keep winning.
“Whoever’s going to Columbus is going through our field,” Black said.
Maddie Hunt and Taylor Dupree were in the midst of the Lady Wolfpack’s rallies and both were were perfect in two official trips to the plate.
Hunt laced a one-out single in the first inning and scored on Dupree’s double to the wall in left. In the second inning, Kirsten McMonigle drove in a run with a bases-loaded single, Hunt was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and a Dupree sacrifice fly brought home the final run of the innning.
“Having my teammates have my back, I wanted to do it for them,” said Dupree of her night at the plate.
Sophomore pitcher Kirsten Titus (18-4) went 3-0 in two days. After beating Jones County the first day, she beat Houston County. 9-1, putting the Lady Wolfpack in the finale.
“I knew all the girls had my back so I trusted them,” said Titus of the final two innings.
Titus kept the Lady Greyhounds off balance through the first five innings as she got 13 groundball outs and two infield pop-ups.
Black was happy with the way the team competed against Jones County and Houston County.
“We won three games against two quality teams,” he said.