With softball’s regular season complete, the Harlem High School Lady Bulldogs kick off postseason action today.
The Lady Bulldogs, the No. 1 seed in Region 3-AA, host Screven County in a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Should they split, the third game will be played at Harlem on Thursday.
The series will be a rematch between the teams that faced off for the 2012 region championship, with Harlem winning 10-0, 4-2.
The first round of the Region 2-AAAAA softball tournament begins Saturday with Evans and Greenbrier playing at home while Grovetown and Lakeside are on the road.
After winning the Region 3-AA title a year ago, the Lady Bulldogs lost seven starters to graduation. With just two seniors, Lindsey Stokes and Christian Mullis, coach Mike Leverett has seen his relatively inexperienced team grow up to the tune of a 20-6 mark.
“We’re young but we’re getting better. We’ve played a lot of freshmen this year,” Leverett said.
With younger players making their mark, it didn’t hurt that Stokes, the 2012 Region 3-AA player of the year, continued where she left off, batting .451 with a team-high four home runs and 37 RBI. There was no sophomore slump for Amber Garrett, who followed up her freshman Region 3-AA pitcher of the year campaign by going 14-5, pitching to a 1.64 earned-run-average, striking out 127 with 12 complete games and five shutouts.
The Lady Bulldogs went 5-0 in region play and faced the Lady Gamecocks (8-11, 2-3) Sept. 5.
That game was one of Garrett’s complete-game shutouts, throwing a no-hitter while registering 10 strikeouts and walking five. The Lady Gamecocks made it the tightest region game for the Lady Bulldogs, who won just 3-0 while managing five hits.
Leverett was making no predictions about the first-round series.
“We’ve managed to have a decent season, we’ll see what happens on Wednesday,” he said.
Greenbrier will be attempting to win its 17th region title in 18 years, entering as a No. 1 seed facing the No. 4 seed from subregion 2B. Before their final two games Monday and Tuesday, the Lady Wolfpack sat at 20-4, 5-0 region.
Evans, the No. 2 seed and facing the the No. 3 seed Saturday, entered its final regular season game Tuesday with Grovetown with a 14-9 mark, 3-2 in the region.
The Lady Wolfpack and Lady Knights will face Northside, Warner Robins and Warner Robins, but the final pairings weren’t going to be determined until late Monday night.