A big night in county softball Wednesday ended with two of three teams moving on in their respective state tournaments.
Home field held a distinct advantage. At Harlem, the Lady Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the Class AA State Softball playoffs with a doubleheader sweep of McIntosh County Academy. In the Class AAAAA playoffs, Greenbrier moved on to the second round with a home sweep of Richmond Hill, while Evans was eliminated by Effingham County.
Harlem (26-7) took game one 1-0 with a walk-off single by Lindsey Stokes in the bottom of the seventh and won 4-1 in game two.
Stokes went four for eight on the day including a fifth-inning single in Game 2 that drove in two runs and gave the Lady Bulldogs a 4-0 lead.
Freshman Amber Garrett (14-4) got the wins, pitching all 14 innings Wednesday night and striking out 21. An unearned run scored in the bottom of the game two seventh inning was the first run she had allowed in 25 innings of postseason play.
The No. 1 seed Lady Bulldogs will be home again on Wednesday facing Region 4’s No. 2 Bleckley County.
Greenbrier (27-6) banged out 24 hits in Wednesday’s doubleheader, winning game one 12-5 and taking the nightcap 11-2.
Sophomore right fielder Maddie Hunt was a thorn in the Wildcats’ (17-13) side all night, providing an element of speed. She had six hits in nine trips to the plate, including five bunt singles and a triple to the wall in her last at-bat of the night.
Kirsten McMonigle provided some pop in the fourth inning of game one when the Lady Wolfpack broke open a one-run game by scoring six runs. After an Emily Weatherman single started the inning, the freshman leadoff hitter smacked an RBI double to ignite the rally. Brooke Mackelburg put the finishing touches on the rally with a three-run homer.
McMonigle also made two spectacular diving catches of foul bunts during the doubleheader.
Pitchers Kirsten Titus (19-4) and Julie Underwood (8-2) earned wins with good outings. Titus struck out nine while giving up five runs, two earned, in Game 1. Underwood followed and allowed two runs, one earned, in five innings of work while striking out three.
Up next will be Region 4’s No. 3 seed Ola on Wednesday.
At Effingham County, the Lady Knights (18-12-1) saw their season come to an end, losing 8-4 and 4-2.