Ask Greenbrier softball coach Garrett Black about the upcoming end of the regular season and he will say that it seems as though it just got started.
Greenbrier's Brittany Leverett slides safely into second as Evans' Rebekah Gibbs looses the ball in the fourth inning at Evans High School. Greenbrier scored seven runs in the fourth inning and won the game 8-2. The team is hoping to enter the region tournament for a game Saturday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
However, the season is coming to a close this week with the first games of the region tournament to be played Saturday.
Greenbrier looks like the strongest team in Region 2-AAAA North, posting a 21-5-1 record for the season. The Wolfpack have beaten six ranked teams this season and have yet to lose to a AAAA team.
"We've played good this year," coach Garrett Black said. "But we are going to have to play our best softball to get back to Columbus (for the state finals). If we advance out of the region tournament, then we are matched up with (Region 3-AAAA) in sectionals. We would probably see Eagle's Landing, who has one of the best pitchers in AAAA, and Stockbridge, the No. 1 team in AAAA."
The Wolfpack are ranked No. 2, and boast one of the best pitchers in the state, Kristan Glover.
"The ball is in her hands all the way now," Black said.
"We will jump on her back and let her take us as far as she can go."
If Greenbrier beats Evans and Jones County on Tuesday and Wednesday, then it will be the third time in four seasons the Wolfpack has finished undefeated in region play.
The Wolfpack will host Baldwin on Saturday in the tournament opener.
Evans has played just as well as anyone in the area heading into the tournament.
Ashley Hale threw a no-hitter against Statesboro this past week and the Knights took two of three from Lakeside this fall.
"We are coming together as a team," coach Colette Cassedy said. "We started off slow but we are playing pretty good."
Evans will, barring two big upsets, finish third in the sub-region, behind Greenbrier and Jones County. That means the Knights will have to travel for the tournament opener.
Lakeside will be on the road Saturday, traveling to play the south subregion's best team, Effingham County.
The Panthers, thought to be a contender for the region title before the season, have struggled since losing catcher Hillary Hall to injury.
After the tournament's opening games at school sites, the tournament will take place in Statesboro next week.
The top four teams from the region tournament advance to the sectionals in Dublin, Ga. Two teams from the sectionals then advance to Columbus for the state finals.
Black, Cassedy and Lakeside coach Jay Matthews all said they thought the four teams in the north subregion could advance to the sectionals.
"Our subregion is very strong," Cassedy said before the season. "Our four can easily play with their one."
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