The race for the top spot in Region 2A-AAAAA softball will be decided when the Evans High School Lady Knights travel to Greenbrier on Tuesday for their second and final regular season matchup.
The Lady Wolfpack enter with a 4-0 sub-region record and the Lady Knights enter at 3-1, their only blemish a 2-1 loss to the Lady Wolfpack at home on Sept. 5.
If the Lady Wolfpack (16-3) win, they will clinch a No. 1 seed and most likely do it with pitching and defense. They have won eight games by shutout while allowing three runs or less in the rest of their wins. They enter having won 15 of their last 16 games. The loss was 2-1 to Harris County on Sept. 12 in a game stopped after five innings because of weather.
After losing five of their previous seven games, the Lady Knights won two in a row and were 12-6 after Thursday, which saw a historic win for Evans head coach Colette Cassedy. She reached the 500-win mark for her career with the Lady Knights’ win over Lakeside.
Greenbrier and Evans have wrapped up a home game in the first round of the region playoffs. For the Lady Knights to claim the top spot, they will have to beat the Lady Wolfpack by more than a run and finish with a win against Grovetown or a Lady Wolfpack loss to Lakeside.
Over in Region 3-AA, Harlem’s Lady Bulldogs can clinch a No. 1 seed again for the region’s postseason with a win against Dublin on Tuesday. They would then begin defense of their 2012 title with a doubleheader at home on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Mike Leverett’s squad will head into that region tournament after losing seven starters from their 2012, 29-9, region-winning team. Sophomore pitcher Amber Garrett, the 2012 region pitcher of the year, has racked up a 13-5 record with five shutouts thus far with the team at 18-6.
Offensively, the Lady Bulldogs are led by reigning 2012 region player of the year senior Lindsey Stokes, who entered Thursday batting .418 with a team-best four home runs and 24 RBI. She’ll be heading to Georgia Regents University in the fall of 2014 and another region title would be a good going-away present for her.
Sophomore Bailey Sheppard leads the team with 29 hits and a .446 average while freshman Madison Summers and junior Ashley Lunz lead the team with 11 and 10 stolen bases, respectively.
While the Lady Bulldogs won’t overlook their opponents, I will, and say their next big challenge will come in the Georgia High School Association Class AA State playoffs.