Evans' second-place finish in the Region 3-AAAA Tournament last week was an accomplishment for an improving softball team. After taking a look at the competition the Lady Knights faced, the accomplishment becomes a more monumental achievement.
"It was tough. I think the other half of the region was a lot stronger than they've been in the past," Evans softball coach Colette Cassedy said. "It was funny because we left the park after our games on Monday, and we came back today and the two teams we beat were still here."
Evans' trip through the Region 3-AAAA Tournament was by far the most brutal of the eight teams in the two-day event. The Lady Knights played five games Monday and Tuesday. Four of them were against the two No. 1 seeds. Their other game was a win against Wayne County - the south subregion's No. 3 seed, who beat Lakeside to earn a state playoff bid.
"I thought we played well," Cassedy said. "Wayne had good pitching, and Effingham had a good pitcher, but we hung in there. We were hitting it OK, but it just seemed like it was always right at people."
The Lady Knights, ranked No. 9 in Class AAAA, entered the tournament as the north subregion's No. 2 seed. They knocked off Wayne County in their first game, then beat Class AAAA No. 7 Effingham County to clinch a state playoff bid.
Tuesday's games saw Evans fall to Greenbrier, then rally to beat Effingham County in eight innings to advance to the region finals. The Lady Knights lost to Greenbrier for the second time that day in the finals for a second-place finish in the Region 3-AAAA tournament.
The two Evans losses to Greenbrier were by one run each.
"The gap has closed. It really has. We had to work to get this. It was not easy by any stretch of the imagination," Greenbrier softball coach Garrett Black said. "Evans has a very good softball team. I think without a doubt they are a top-10 school in the state. They are going to be dangerous."
Evans will advance to the Class AAAA South State Sectional in Hampton, Ga., on Friday and Saturday as the No. 2 seed. The Lady Knights will face Region 1-AAAA No. 3 seed Bainbridge in the first round Friday at 6 p.m.
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