Seeding for the Region 2-AAAAA softball tournament wasn’t set until the final regular season game Tuesday night.
Greenbrier and Evans clinched the first two spots in the 2A subregion before the Lady Wolfpack traveled to face the Lady Knights, but the top spot was still on the line.
The Lady Wolfpack beat Evans 3-1 on Sept. 13 at Greenbrier, but an Evans win by three or more runs would give them the No. 1 spot.
Down 1-0 and having stranded six runners through the first four innings, the Lady Wolfpack (20-6, 6-0 Region 2-AAAAA)) got a clutch hit in the fifth. Catcher Lee Anne Rees belted a two-run homer over the left-field fence, giving the Lady Wolfpack a 2-1 lead they made stand up the rest of the way.
Rees had left runners on base in the first and third innings, but she wasn’t feeling any pressure.
“I did not know the count and I didn’t know how many outs we had,” said Rees. “I just knew that we had runners on and I really wanted to pull through.”
While both teams were assured a home game in the tournament, the Lady Wolfpack now play at home throughout the tournament. It also brought head coach Garrett Black to the precipice of 500 career wins.
“It was very important to me because it was my last time playing Evans,” said Greenbrier’s lone senior Taylor Thompson of the win, which brought Black’s total to 499. “I really want it to happen. I love him to death.”
The two evenly-matched teams boast tough pitching, timely hitting and solid defense, but Evans (16-8-1, 4-2) got the first run across after the Lady Wolfpack committed an uncharacteristic first-inning error. Greenbrier would finish with two errors for the night.
Greenbrier pitcher Kirsten Titus would allow no more runs the rest of the way, walking one and striking out eight in the process, improving to 14-4.
“I’m proud of the fact that we won and found a way to win, but we have to execute better than that,” said Black. “Lee Anne rescued us there in the fifth inning.”
Evans hurler Lexi Dodgen had runners on base every inning but the seventh and stranded six through four innings. She finished allowing the two runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
“It was a good game today to go into the region,” said Evans head coach Colette Cassedy. “A loss is a loss, but I’m glad to know we’re still able to host even though we got beat twice in our subregion.”