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Evans sweeps Lee County, ’Pack advances in playoffs

Posted: October 14, 2011 - 2:16pm  |  Updated: October 15, 2011 - 10:49pm
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Evans' Alexis Schlein at bat against against Lee County.
Evans' Alexis Schlein at bat against against Lee County.

Twitter @JWilliamsCCNT

As her team kept piling up runs Wednesday afternoon, senior Rebecca Olson remembers the Evans High School lineup not wanting to settle.

"I think in any playoff game, you want to beat that team as high as you can," the first baseman said. "When we score 14 runs, then we're going to win that ball game."

That's exactly what the Knights softball team did.

Behind the strong pitching of Tiffany Sellers and 11 extra-base hits, including nine in Game 2 alone, Evans swept Lee County, 4-0 and 14-6, in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

See 35 photos from the playoff games

The second game was called after five innings because of the run rule.

In Game 1, Kristyna Vaughn led the way. She had a home run and scored two runs while going 2-for-3. Lexi Dodgen was 2-for-2 with a double.

The second game saw an offensive flourish for the Knights (24-9).

They got four runs in both the second and third innings.

Sellers, who pitched a complete game shutout earlier, relieved Brooke Sarver during a six-run third inning for the Trojans (15-14).

Sellers got out of the jam, just as she had done twice in the opener.

"You come in, in a tight situation, and you've got to know what to do. ... You just have to lay it out here," she said. "This is it, do or die, especially being the first round of the state playoffs."

Olson, Vaughn and Alexis Schlein each had two doubles in Game 2.

Schlein added a two-run homer and finished with six RBI.

"I guess I was (in the zone)," the sophomore said. "I was at least focused and trying to get just a little bit more, knowing we had to keep going with the runs."

Evans (24-9) advances to the second round of the state playoffs and plays host to Northgate, the same team that knocked the Knights out last season.

A doubleheader Wednesday would be followed by an "if necessary" game Thursday if the best-of-3 series is tied.

'Pack escapes with walk-off

The way Garrett Black sees it, the question of which game is most important in a three-game series has a simple answer.

"I've always been a believer that ... the most important game is Game 2," the Greenbrier head coach said. "You either win (the series) or you get momentum on your side."

Those words certainly rang true Thursday, as Greenbrier easily dispatched Hardaway, 11-2, in a decisive Game 3 after stealing every bit of the momentum Wednesday.

Hardaway (21-16) won Game 1 with a score of 4-1, and led the second game 5-0 after the first inning.

Steadily, the Wolfpack (29-6) fought back.

They scored three in the second to get within two. Then, senior Casey Rowland extended her school-record single-season home run mark with her 15th, a two-run shot that knotted the game at 5.

Freshman Monica Mullis added a two-run double later in the inning for a 7-5 lead.

The Golden Hawks, however, took another lead at 8-7 that held into the bottom of the seventh.

Greenbrier, the home team for Game 2, got a leadoff triple from sophomore Taylor Dupree. Then, Rowland struck again.

Her 16th homer of the season was a two-run walk-off shot that kept Greenbrier playing another day.

In Game 3, Black went with freshman Kirsten Titus on the mound.

Greenbrier will play at No. 1 Union Grove in the second round, which starts Wednesday.

Dogs fall short in first round

Just like last year, Harlem's season ended by the slimmest of margins.

In 2010, West Laurens topped Harlem in a decisive Game 3 in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs by a 4-3 margin in eight innings.

This year, Harlem fell 2-1 and then 1-0 in eight innings at Eastside on Wednesday to end its season at 25-9.

Senior Kristen Mills effectively shut down the offense of Eastside (24-13), a team that lost only one starter off of last year's Elite Eight squad.

She pitched all 15 innings and struck out seven.

Harlem got its lone run on an RBI single by junior Abbie Drake that plated junior Haley Mays.

In Game 2, the International Tiebreaker Rule came into effect. It puts a runner on second to start each half inning. Eastside scored on a throwing error, and Harlem couldn't score with two on in the bottom of the eighth.

 

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