With the softball season in full swing, this past weekend saw all four local softball teams in action.
The weekend play started early when Greenbrier met Evans on Thursday. The Lady Knights hung with the No. 2 ranked team in the state and actually held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning. The Lady Wolfpack, however, woke up for three runs in the bottom of the inning and tacked on five more later in the game with home runs from Robyn Butler and Kaila Hunt for an 8-2 win.
It was only the beginning for one of the busiest weekends of the softball season.
The annual Evans Invitational began Friday afternoon at Patriots Park with Evans, Lakeside and Harlem competing against several out-of-town schools.
Evans, the hosting team, came out of the tournament with a 3-2 record, including wins over Cross Creek, North Oconee and Brunswick. More importantly, the Brunswick game gave the Lady Knights a first look at one of the newest members of Region 3-AAAA.
"They were aggressive and athletic, but they were beatable," Evans coach Colette Cassedy said. "It was a good measuring stick. We'll know how to prepare for them next time."
Warner Robins came away with the Gold Division Tournament Championship after an undefeated weekend. South Effingham took the silver championship and Harlem claimed the bronze title.
The Lady Bulldogs dropped their first two games of the tournament to Warner Robins and South Effingham, but came back to sweep all three games Saturday, including wins over Brunswick, Burke County and Crisp County. Lakeside grabbed wins over Hephzibah and Cross Creek.
The biggest news took place on the other side of the state, where Greenbrier opted out of the Evans tournament to uphold an annual tradition.
"We always go to Shaw every year because it's played at the same complex as the state tournament," Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said. "We like to take a trip there during the season."
The Shaw Invitational in Columbus, Ga., saw Greenbrier face the stiffest competition in the state. The Lady Wolfpack defeated Class A power Brookstone and Class AAAAA Walton on Friday. The biggest match came Saturday, when Greenbrier, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA, faced No. 1 ranked Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe. The rankings held as Greenbrier lost 2-0.
Greenbrier rebounded to take a 4-1 win over Class AAAAA Harrison in the next game, but came up short in the third game of the day with a 7-0 loss to Class AAAAA Woodstock.
Greenbrier (12-4) will face the Academy of Richmond County on the road Thursday. Evans will enjoy a full week off until next Tuesday for a game against Richmond Academy.
Lakeside's schedule will take the Lady Panthers to Statesboro, Ga., for a rematch Thursday.
Harlem will face Thomson at home Thursday in a game for bragging rights and an advantage in the Region 3-AAA standings.
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